Dana White has a message for the fighters on his roster — accept the fights you’re given or you may not have a home in the UFC anymore.
That’s the word from the UFC president after he reached a breaking point with rising star Yair Rodriguez more than a week ago that led to his release from the organization. While the two sides eventually came to an agreement to bring Rodriguez back into the UFC, White says that he’s sick and tired of fighters trying to hand pick opponents rather than taking the matchups that are offered to them.
“Listen, I get into these things where this is the fight business and the UFC is the elite of the elite in mixed martial arts. You get into these situations where you get these guys that don’t want to fight certain people. If you don’t want to fight certain people, this probably isn’t the place for you,” White said on the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast.
“I’m looking for people that want to be world champions that want to f–king fight the best in the world. If you’re not that guy, then there’s plenty of other places where you can go and make money. This place isn’t for you.”
In fact, White teased that Rodriguez won’t be the last fighter who gets cut as a result of his new personal policy when it comes to matchmaking in the UFC.
“That’s what I’ve run into with a few guys. You’re going to see more of it. There’s more coming today. I’m not f–king around anymore here,” White said. “If you don’t want to fight, don’t sign here. If you want to hand pick fights, don’t sign a contract here. This isn’t the right place for you.
“Look at Darren Till…Darren Till just fought [Stephen] “Wonderboy” Thompson. “Wonderboy” Thompson was ranked No. 1 in the world and he took that fight. Guess what happened? It was a really close fight, the judges gave it to [Till] and [Thompson] went from No. 1 to No. 3. Nothing massively devastating happened to his career. He’s still a top three guy in the world. But you have to be willing to fight anybody.”
White says these problems didn’t exist as much during the old school days of the UFC but it has become more common place in recent years.
That’s why he’s sending out the message to every fighter on the roster to accept the matchups given or it could lead to receiving your walking papers.
“You’re here to fight and you’re here to become a world champion. If that is not what you are here for this is not the place for you. You can go many other places. They’re paying guys great money out there right now and a lot of times you can go out there and make more money than you’re making here. Knock yourself out. That’s where you belong. You don’t belong here,” White said.
“When you’re in a position where you turn down fights and you don’t want to fight this guy or that guy and all this other s–t, all I can say is you better keep winning.”