White: Roy Nelson is his own worst enemy
Following UFC 161, president Dana White conducted his tradition post fight media scrum, as always offering compelling answers to wide variety of topics, including Roy Nelson.
Saturday was the final fight on Roy Nelson’s contract, and he declined to resign a new contract before the fight, feeling that with a win and a four fight win streak, his stock would be considerably higher.
However, the reason you have the fight in mixed martial arts is you don’t know what is going to happen. Sat Nelson lost convincingly to Stipe Miocic, who was himself coming off a loss.
While the loss will doubtless not help Nelson in the contract negotiation, White said he remains interested.
“I want Roy Nelson in the UFC,” said White. “We never said we didn’t want Roy Nelson in the UFC. If I didn’t want Roy Nelson in the UFC, I’d tell ya – he’d know it, everybody’d know it. You know?
“Roy and I don’t have to see eye to eye and be best friends for him to fight here. We don’t have to do that.
“It doesn’t have to do with Roy’s shape, his physique, or anything like that. I’ve said it before. Roy came to me one time and said I’m having a hard time getting sponsors.
“I said ‘Well that’s weird. I can’t understand why you would have a hard time getting sponsors. How about you cut your hair, lose some weight, get rid of the walk in song I’m Fat? And take yourself seriously – you’re a tough guy, you’ve got a lot of talent. You’re a very well-rounded fighter.
“He said ‘OK.’
“I saw him at the next press conference, his mullett was longer, he grew a beard down to here, and he was maybe six pounds less than the last time I had seen him.
“I said ‘It is good to see you took my advice.’
“Don’t complain to me – who wants to put their logo on that? Nobody. Nobody wants to put their logo on that.”
At that point a media member suggested Burger King.
“Burger King,” replied White. “Well, that’s what he thought. You ever watch a Burger King commercial? It’s all handsome guys, skinny, and pretty girls. You think Burger King wants people to think that that is what you look like if you eat at Burger King? That’s the last thing Burger King wants – ‘If you eat Burger King you’ll look like F@$%ing this guy with the mullet and the gut.”
“Not even Burger King wants that stamp.”
Ariel Helwani then asked about a remark White had made earlier in the evening.
“You said to him ‘Let’s go in a room and do it.’ Do you want to go make a deal right now tonight?”
White explained that something had come up that required his discretion.
“No,” said White. “There’s… he’s said he doesn’t want to talk about it publicly. So… we won’t talk about it publicly. It’s not about making a deal.
Helwani then asked if Nelson had an offer?
“Yah, he had an offer,” replied White. “A month ago, a month an a half ago.”
Helwani pressed further, asking what White meant when he said “Let’s go in a room.”
White replied a little mysteriously.
“Because somebody is not telling the truth about something,” said White. “And he said ‘what we need is to…’ and I said ‘f@$%ing do it right now. Go get everybody in a room RIGHT NOW and we’ll see who is telling the truth and who’s not.”
Helwani continued, asking what it regarded.
“He doesn’t want to talk about it publically,” replied White. “So I already talked about it too much. I already said too much, so…”
White was then asked what he thought about Nelson refusing the profered contract.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,” said White. “He’s got a hell of a chin, and can knock people out, and he ain’t going to be winning any f@$%king spelling bees any time soon. Okay? Not the smartest man you will ever meet.”
“There’s a lot of reasons why I respect Roy Nelson. Roy Nelson rolled the dice tonight, you know? He had a high stakes poker game tonight, and he lost.”
“It’s not like we’re saying ‘we don’t want Roy Nelson, we hate him here.’ We’re trying to come to a deal with Roy Nelson. “
White was then asked about Nelson’s reference to Daniel Cormier as an “Uncle Tom.” White offered mild support for Nelson over the issue, but added “I will say it again, he is not the brightest f@$%ing guy you will ever meet. He’s not going to be winning any Nobel Peace Prizes, he’s not going to find the cure for f@$%ing cancer, he’s not going to win any spelling bees, he’s …
“But if you ask him, he’ll tell you he’s the smartest guy in the world. He’s just not.”
White then related an experience from the past where Nelson approach UFC VP for Talent Relations Joe Silva and said his TUF contract was not lucrative enough. Silva offered him a new contract, with a higher pay scale, but as explained by White, it was not enough, so Nelson refused it, and stayed with his original and lower contract.
White was then pushed about Nelson’s low pay (he got $24,000 to show, $24,000 win his previous time out).
“Yah,” agreed White. “Because he wanted to say on the Ultimate Fighter contract, instead of taking the new deal that was offered to him. It’s more money.”
White was then asked if Roy was perhaps just stubborn?
“Yah,” said White. “That’s why he can’t be knocked out. That’s what I told his wife tonight… He’s so thick headed you couldn’t knock him out with a f@$%ing truck, you know?”
Helwani then said if you consider for example Nelson’s Twitter followers, there are people that relate to Nelson and how he looks.
“People don’t relate him in the way that he looks,” replied White. “If people related to him in the way that he looks, there’d be sponsors f@$%ing stuck all over him. You’re wrong there. What people related to is he’s knocked 12 people out in a row. People tune in and watch this guy who looks like he could barely walk up the stairs to the Octagon, and he goes in there an knocks out these guys, like Cheick Kongo, this physical specimen. He hits them in the neck and knocks them out. That’s why people like Roy Nelson. And people like Roy Nelson because he is this renegade guy.
White was then asked about Stipe Miocic’s performance.
“Roy was talking about a title shot and they’ll never give me one,” said White. “But you get a guy who can use his hands, and footwork, he’ll pick Roy Nelson apart every day, if he doesn’t land that bomb on him. Or if he doesn’t get that double leg and get him on the ground and smother him for all three rounds.
“That’s my frustration with Roy Nelson. If he took himself seriously, if he lost some of the weight, and really trained, imagine what that guy would be able to do. Look at the things that he does now, in the shape that he’s in and the things that he does now. He is his worst enemy. Everybody wants to talk about how popular he is… he ain’t so f@$%king popular that he’s making Georges St-Pierre money, or Anderson Silva money, or Cain Velasquez money or Junior dos Santos money. The guys that are the top of the division, you know? When you’re the best you make a $#!*load of money. When you’re mediocre, you make mediocre money.”
For his part, at the UFC 161 post fight press conference, Nelson expressed the desire to stay in the UFC.
“I want to get past this loss and fight,” said Nelson. “If Dana and Lorenzo want me to be in the UFC then hey, I’ll be knocking on Cain Velasquez’s door or whoever the champ is when I’m knocking on it.”