We're less than 24 hours away from Fight Night Atlantic City, where hometown hero Jim Miller takes on Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone. It's a must-win main event for both fighters, who hope to continue their climb up the lightweight rankings.
Early Tuesday morning, lightweight Nate Diaz had some choice words for Cerrone, who he beat by decision back in 2011.
UFC President Dana White said Diaz is way off base. Cerrone is professional, White said, going hard to earn a living and making a lot of money in the process.
"Nate can do whatever he wants to do. Nate can sit out and not suck any UFC whatever, for as long as he wants to. Who cares, he's a grown man," White said. "Sit out for as long as you want, sit out the rest of your career, it's your decision. But to start making fun of guys who actually like to fight, and guys who go out there and put on unbelievable fights and people love to see him? (Cowboy) steps up and does what he does. People love Cowboy Cerrone.
"Nate wants to talk about making money, but there's only one way to make money, and that's fighting."
> Watch: Fight Night AC Cerrone vs. Miller Preview
On new UFC acquisition Holly Holm
White was surprised at the reaction to Holm's signing following the announcement last week. He said it was way bigger than he expected and he's excited that people are so into the women's division.
As far as Holm the fighter, White said she brings an exciting stand-up style into the Octagon and should be very entertaining.
"She's a boxer with great hands and great kicks," he said. "There are a lot of questions about her ground game, but we're going to find out about her. She's in the UFC now, and she's without a doubt one of the most talked about women out there, and I'm excited. The women's division has been fantastic and the women always deliver. The fights are great and Holly will make a great addition."
MORE HOLLY HOLM | Learn about the new women's bantamweight
On Ronda Rousey
When Rousey heard the news that the UFC signed Holm, White said the women's bantamweight champion was ecstatic. With White also set to meet with Gina Carano this week, the division is starting to stack up nicely for Rousey, who is looking to further build her impressive resume.
"She loves it. Ronda wants to fight Gina, she wants to fight Holly and whoever else is perceived as some of the best in the world," White said.
After Rousey's demolition of Alexis Davis at UFC 175, she jumped up to No. 9 in the overall pound-for-pound rankings, sparking a debate across the MMA world concerning her position and whether she should be even higher.
White said her spot at No. 9 is somewhat questionable.
"She's higher than number nine in the pound-for-pound. She's undefeated, she's finished every fight in devastating fashion, but it's still a man's world, man," White said. "The media is never going to put her higher up in the rankings. The media decides it, and Ronda, being a woman, has had to fight harder. If there was a guy that was on the streak that Ronda was on, he'd be the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world, like that. But because she's a woman, these guys aren't going to give her the credit she deserves."
On Floyd Mayweather
Ever since White said Ronda Rousey could beat Floyd Mayweather in an MMA fight, fans and media alike have been chiming in on the potential outcome if "Rowdy" and "Money" ever clashed.
Although it would never happen, it hasn't stopped people from asking the question. On Tuesday Mayweather had an interesting comment when asked about a fight against Ronda.
"I don't know who he is," Mayweather said in a video on YouTube.
White wasn't surprised at Mayweather's response.
"What's Floyd going to say? That's a lose-lose situation for Floyd," White said. "For him to even acknowledge that he knows who Ronda is, and that she could possibly beat him in a fight, ya know, that's what I'd expect him to say."
On Chris Weidman
Going into Weidman-Machida at UFC 175, White was very vocal about how fascinated he was with the matchup. He said there's no doubt after that fight that Weidman is the real deal, and if people are still doubting him they're crazy.
"Anderson twice and now Lyoto Machida, not too shabby," he said. "It went five rounds, Machida has that elusive style. He clipped Anderson, he didn't clip Machida and he didn't knock him out. I wanted to see how Weidman was going to be able to cut the cage off and if he'd be able to get to Machida. From the first round on he did. He hunted him down, and he hurt him every time he hit him in that first round. The kid's never been five, and he was tough enough to go five rounds, because he was exhausted by the end of the third and he toughed out those last two rounds."
White said that next up Weidman will get his wish and defend his belt against Vitor Belfort, if "The Phenom" can get cleared to fight.
"How do you not respect that too, you got to love Weidman," White said about Weidman wanting to fight Belfort. "Anderson Silva twice, beats Machida, and now is actually calling for Vitor Belfort? That's a fight that should happen. The champ wants it, we want it and the fans want it. Now it's a matter of getting Vitor licensed."
On Conor McGregor
> Watch: Fight Night Dublin "On The Fly" Episode 1
White is heading to Dublin on Wednesday and said he is excited for the card this Saturday, especially the main event.
"Conor is in a tough fight this weekend," he said. "He's been out for over a year with the ACL, he's fighting in his home town and obviously for Diego Brandao, this would be a big f**king win for him. To go into Ireland in the main event and beat Conor McGregor, it puts this kid right back on the map."
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