Dana White says Kayla Harrison should stay in PFL and UFC wasn’t the place for Junior Dos Santos anymore

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May 14, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Dana White during weigh ins for UFC 262 at George R Brown Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

UFC President Dana White has some thoughts on the impending free agency of PFL star Kayla Harrison and former employee Junior dos Santos. And neither of them is that positive.

The PFL will be promoting its third championship event this Wednesday on ESPN+. Headlining the card will be 2020 women’s lightweight champion, Harrison (11-0). The two-time Olympic gold medal-winning Judoka has dominated over 10 fights as a member of the roster and she is once again a huge favorite to win the division title on Oct. 27 against Taylor Guardado. With league contracts ending at the end of the season, many fans and media are wondering what’s next for the 31-year-old.

Dana White says Kayla Harrison should stay and make ‘obscene money’ in the PFL

Since winning the league championship last year, there has been consistent speculation about Harrison taking her talents to another promotion. Specifically the UFC. When the organization’s boss was asked about that possibility by TSN [h/t MMAFighting] on Monday, White did not seem gung-ho about bringing in the uber-talented American Top Team product to the UFC. Instead, he suggested Harrison should stay right where she is, and continue making an “obscene amount of money” to beat the “type” of talent the PFL has put in front of her.

“[PFL] pays her an obscene amount of money to fight over there. If I was her, I’d stay right where she is and keep picking off the people over here. When you come here, Amanda Nunes is no joke. [Valentina] Shevchenko is no joke. Rose Namajunas is [no joke]. These are all the best women in the world. These are the best female fighters in the world. … I don’t blame her. I would stay there and keep fighting the type of women she’s fighting there before I would come here and fight an Amanda Nunes,” White said.

White says UFC wasn’t a home anymore after Junior dos Santos lost four straight

The topic of fighters like Harrison making big money outside the UFC came up after the outlet and the UFC head honcho discussed recent comments from former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos (21-9). The Brazilian MMA superstar was released in March after 13-years and 23-fights in the organization. In an interview with MMAFighting last week, “Cigano” spoke on his frustrations with his first contract with the UFC, how the promotion can play hardball in bout negotiations, and the sport’s need for the Ali Act to be introduced and give athletes more leverage.

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Jan 25, 2020; Raleigh, NC, USA; Junior Dos Santos (blue gloves) reacts after losing his fight against Curtis Blaydes during UFC Fight Night at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

When speaking on dos Santos, White explained his decision to cut the former heavyweight king was all based on performance and age. That the Octagon was not “the place to be anymore” for the 37-year-old. And that if he wanted more pay than he was getting in the UFC, he can now go do so after the promotion helped to establish his brand and gave him value to take into free agency.

“Junior Dos Santos said some stuff the other day that he was upset, and I was all about money and the way that he left [the UFC]. Listen, he’s in his 40s now. He’s on a four or five-fight losing streak, and there comes a time and a day where I have to make a decision when a guy keeps losing and he’s at a certain age, this just isn’t the place to be anymore,” said White.

“There’s tons of other places where you can go fight and where you can make a lot of money. A lot of these guys once they’ve built and established their name here, move on to these other promotions and make crazy money. And good for them. That’s just how it works.”

Dos Santos lost four straight to end his stint in the promotion. All four losses came by knockout against top-10 ranked fighters. He has yet to sign a contract with any combat sports promotion since departing his long-time home earlier this year.

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