Dana White wants Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to retire
QUEBEC CITY — If Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira wants to continue his legendary career, he may have to look outside of the UFC to do it. The former PRIDE heavyweight champion lost last week via knockout to Roy Nelson, a defeat that marked his fifth straight loss by stoppage. For a fighter who had never been finished in his first 37 professional fights, that’s a troublesome trend that has put the sport’s observers on high alert.
It also hasn’t escaped White, who after Wednesday’s TUF: Nations Finale was clear on his plans for "Big Nog." Which is to say, he has no plans at all.
"Out of respect for Nogueira, I didn’t want to say anything until he said something publicly," White said. "Then he came out and said he wants to fight Frank Mir. I don’t want to see Nogueira fight ever again. He should retire.
"He is a war horse," White continued. "That guy has been in — just the battles in PRIDE he’s been in — let alone the fights that he’s fought in the UFC. He’s one of the most respected fighters in the world by other fighters, let alone by fans. And I like him very much, too, so I wanted to give him the opportunity to say something first. And now I’m going to say, ‘Big Nog, I love you, but I’d love you to never fight again.’"
So, what happens next if the 37-year-old Nogueira decides he’s not quite ready to hang them up? In the past, some fighters who have faced the same dilemma have convinced White to give them one more try. It famously happened with Chuck Liddell, who went on to be knocked out by Rich Franklin in his final bow. White’s not quite ready to say he’ll slam the door on Nogueira, but he seemed adamant in his belief that Nogueira should move to the sidelines, where he’s been an excellent coach.
"I’ve been in this position a million times, so we’ll figure it out," White said.
Don’t read anything into that as it related to Rousey’s possible arrival to the octagon, however. White met with Carano last Wednesday, and negotiations continue on reaching a deal.
"It went good. She wants to fight," White said. "We don’t have a deal but she wants to fight."
White said that Carano’s pre-existing Strikeforce contract expires in June, but that it meant little in the scheme of current negotiations. White also declined to say whether Carano, who has not fought since August 2009, has a particular timeframe in mind.
"Let’s see if we come to a deal, and then we’ll talk about Gina," he said.
"That fight’s going to happen," White said. "What happens is Wanderlei got hurt in the fight. He got double-legged on the concrete. He hurt his back. He hurt his hand punching Chael in the head. He got injured, so he couldn’t fight on time because he got hurt f—ing coaching the show. It’s just disgusting."
White didn’t mince words on his disappointment of what transpired, putting blame on the athletes as well as the producers and crew who could have but did not step in to quell the situation before it escalated.
"That thing was a disgusting display of what shouldn’t happen, and if I was there, that would have never happened," he said. "It’s as bad as it can get."
He got injured, so he couldn’t fight on time because he got hurt f—ing coaching the show. It’s just disgusting.
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"He got hacked," he said. "Originally when I found out he was saying he was being hacked, I was like, what, are we all going to say stupid stuff and then say [we were hacked]? If you look at his timeline he rarely ever posts anything or responds on Instagram. He got hacked. It happened. They got in there, they changed his password. Like 11 people had his password that surrounded him. We got that squashed and taken care of."
On Wednesday, White said that the news didn’t come from him, and so therefore should not have been seen as official.
"If it was happening, I would have announced it," he said. "I didn’t announce it."
White did not explicitly say that the fight between the No. 5 and 6 light-heavyweights would not happen, however, just that there was nothing to report right now.
"Jones requested it," White said, "and I called Teixeira, and Teixeira said, ‘They can come over to my gym right now and test me. Send them over.’
From the beginning, White has seemed unmoved by their demands, and it was more of the same on Wednesday as he noted that the UFC roadshow kept on moving with or without them.
"The whole crazy thing with the Diaz brothers, this is one of those situations that’s going to be sad in a few years," he said. "When you look back on it, you’re going to say two talented kids who had fans and interest in fighting, and they sat out. What people don’t realize when you’re in the moment, your time is now. Guys don’t realize until it’s over, you will never make that kind of money again. For the rest of your life. You should fight as much as you possibly can fight, get as popular as you can possibly get, and make as money as you possibly can."