Big Country accepts! Oh, So does Tito.
‘Big Country’ Roy Nelson is going to fight Mirko Cro Cop at UFC 137, oh in case you haven’t heard, the drama has ended, Tito is going to Face Rashad Evans in a rematch at UFC 133. Pretty strange happenings, let me give you a breakdown of the timeline: Big Country was on the chopping block following his loss to Frank Mir. Due to his diagnosis of ‘Walking Pneumonia’ he was given some leeway. Dana strongly advised him to lose some weight. Cro Cop was on the receiving end of a vicious KO at the hands of Mir, in a largely boring fight, leading Dana to suggest Cro Cop retire. Cro Cop was able to talk Dana into giving him another chance. Dana did, leading to another devastating KO at the hands of Brendan Schuab. This time Dana White was more adamant about Cro Cop retiring. Only to once again be talked into a final bout (this one is the final fight on Cro Cops contract) against Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson. Big Country is in a Do or Die situation, as he’s coming off of 2 decision losses at the hands of Mir and Dos Santos. Granted they are top tier fighters, add the losing streak to Dana’s issues with Roy’s weight, you have the recipe for early UFC release. That takes us to UFC 137, Roy Nelson vs. Cro Cop!
Now, here’s the Ortiz/Machida/Evans timeline.
From MMAJunkie.com Dana White:
“Machida accepted the fight, We knew for a couple days this was going down, and Machida accepted the fight. Then when we called back and said, ‘OK, we’re going to make this fight,’ Machida’s people came back and said, ‘We’ll tell you what. You pay us what you pay Anderson Silva, and we’ll take the fight.’ This was after they had already agreed to take the fight.
Can you imagine what Dana White said to that? Well you don’t have to imagine, here is his response.
“I said, ‘Are you [expletive] kidding me? I’ll tell you what. You tell Machida he achieves what [expletive] Anderson Silva has achieved, then maybe he’ll make Anderson Silva money. Have a nice day.”
HAHAHA, Machida and his people have some big balls! There is no doubt Dana expected some sort of demand for extra compensation, like say 25% over his regular pay, but Anderson SIlva money, come on, we are talking 7 figures when you add in the PPV revenue. I don’t care if Machida guzzles down his own urine in the Octagon before the bell rings, I’m saying he’s not worth that kinda money.
“They said, ‘Machida will fly out there tomorrow if you pay him what you pay Anderson Silva,'” White said. “They said they’d do the deal, then I call back to make it and that’s what they said.”
Machida and his management team must be messing with some form of narcotic, one that limits memory. DO they think Dana forgets these kinds of events? The man has a Headstone in his office with the names of the competition he’s put out of business. Look at the grudges he’s held over the years. I would say this counts as grudge worthy in Dana’s world. Now for the bizarre part: Then Tito steps in.
“Tito turned it down, and then Tito called back and said, ‘Did you get the fight yet? I said, ‘Nope.’ He goes, ‘Let me think about it. Let me talk to my team, and I’ll call you back tomorrow.’ This was Tuesday night.”
Tito called Dana, blowing his mind, then he accepted the fight. To everyone’s astonishment. Good on you Tito, good on you. Apparently Dana feels the same way, when asked if Tito was still on the chopping block if he lost, he had this to say.
“[Expletive] right, he gets a break, Tito stepped up to the plate. It’s [expletive] weird here. It’s like I’m dealing with a new person. I like it. I like the new Tito. The storyline is what’s so interesting. Tito went from ‘You’re about to be cut,’ to now, if he beats Rashad Evans, he’s back in the mix. He’s back in the picture.”
That’s right, Tito Ortiz could be back in the title picture, bet you are amazed to hear those words. Even with his big win a few weeks ago, few felt he was gonna get another shot at the title before his career was over. Tito spoke to MMAweekly.com and had this to say.
“I’m kind of like do I do it for the company? Do I do it for myself? Do I do it for my fans? Or do I step back and wait for the right time and everything? I went through a camp that was really, really good. After the fight (against Ryan Bader), I took a little time off, and to correct you, it’s actually two weeks of training and a week of doing the PR stuff for the fight, so it’s putting in two weeks of hard work and could I pull it off? I made kind of a soft decision yesterday of saying I have to live a life, I’ve got to take care of my family at home, I have a business Punishment Athletics, I have a gym Punishment Training Center that’s doing really, really well right now, my nutrition line Punishment Nutrition that I just launched in July. I have so much business opportunities come about, but can I catapult this even more and continue this Cinderella story by taking this fight against Rashad Evans?” I’ve always wanted that fight against Rashad, He’s had a great camp, I’ve heard, over the last eight weeks or nine weeks. I know he hasn’t fought in over a year, and I really hope I make the right decision.”
Win or lose, Tito wins in this instance. He’s garnered the favor of Dana White and the UFC brass again, he’s proven he’s still got that warrior spirit, and if he wins, the title could be within reach. If he loses, he has plenty of valid reasons why. Short notice, not enough time to train, no game plan, extra pressure, etc. etc. etc. All valid, lets hope he doesn’t need to dig into any of these come post-fight press conference. Let’s hope the post-fight press conference involves Rashad Evans putting forth the
excuses explanations on why he lost.