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Morning Report: Following upset loss at UFC 161, Dana White elaborates on Roy Nelson contract situation

Roy Nelson pushed his chips all-in on Saturday night. Riding a tremendous three-fight knockout streak into the last fight of his TUF 10 contract, Nelson was poised to make a remarkable jump in pay scale if he just could get by unranked Stipe Miocic at UFC 161. Unfortunately for Nelson, things didn’t quite work out as planned. But if Big Country was looking for sympathy, he didn’t need to turn towards his boss, UFC President Dana White. He was fighting under The Ultimate Fighter contract and he called Joe Silva and said, ”ËœListen, I’m fighting tough guys here, and I’m winning.’ And Joe said, ”ËœYou’re right. We’re going to get rid of The Ultimate Fighter contract and give you another contract,’ White explained during Saturday’s post-fight scrum. So Joe Silva offers him a deal for more money, and Roy said that’s not enough. This was a while ago. And Joe says, ”ËœOkay, well this is my offer. I’ll rip up the old contract and give you this one.’ He said no. Joe said, ”ËœBut it’s more money.’ [Roy said,] ”ËœI don’t care, it’s not what I want.’ He f–king fought under The Ultimate Fighter contract instead of taking the new contract from Joe, which was significantly more money.’ That’s the business. Again, there’s a lot of reasons why I respect Roy Nelson. Roy Nelson rolled the dice tonight. He had a high stakes poker game tonight, and he lost. White and Nelson’s history is long and tenuous, which is why so much intrigue was generated by his UFC 161 fight. If Nelson won, he’d emerge a people’s champion, the owner of a top-5 ranking and suitcase crammed with negotiating leverage. Instead, Nelson fell short, leaving White to reflect on why the heavyweight has frustrated him for so many years. Roy came to me one time and said, ”ËœI’m having a hard time getting sponsors,’ explained White. I said, well that’s weird. I can’t understand why you would have a hard time getting sponsors. How about you cut the hair, lose some weight, get rid of the walk-in song ”ËœI’m Fat,’ and take yourself seriously? You’re a tough guy, you’ve got a lot of talent, you’re a very well-rounded fighter. He said, ”ËœOkay.’ I saw him at the next press conference — his mullet was longer, and he grew a beard down to here, and he was, maybe, six pounds less than the last time I’d seen him. I said, it’s good to see you took my advice. It’s just, don’t complain to me. Who wants to put their logo on that? White continued, Nobody. Nobody wants to put their logo on that. Burger King? Well that’s what he thought. Did you ever watch a Burger King commercial? It’s all handsome guys, skinny, and pretty girls. You think Burger King wants people to think that that’s what you look like if you eat Burger King? People don’t relate to him in the way that he looks. If people related to him in the way that he looks, there’d be sponsors stuck all over him. … What people relate to is that he’s knocked out 12 people in a row. You tune in and you watch this guy who looks like he could barely walk up the stairs to the Octagon, and he goes in there are knocks out these guys like Cheick Kongo, this physical specimen — he hits him in the neck and knocks him out. That’s why people like Roy Nelson. White’s sentiment is exactly why the pair’s relationship has become such compelling theater. In thought, Nelson represents MMA’s counter-culture; the idiosyncratic, mulletted heavyweight who has no qualms about battling ”Ëœthe man.’ Yet both individuals still function within the employee-employer relationship, and despite his rotund shortcomings, White still clearly respects and values the skillset Nelson brings with him into the cage. So it’s telling that even in the face of each man’s stubbornness, both White and Nelson voiced a willingness to continue their partnership on Saturday. He wanted to stay under The Ultimate Fighter contract instead of taking the new deal that was offered to him, White said in closing. It’s more money. That’s why he can’t be knocked out. That’s what I told his wife tonight when she was sitting next to me. I said, he’s so thick-headed, you couldn’t knock him out if you hit him with a f–king truck. [But] it’s not like we’re saying, ”ËœWe’re not signing Roy Nelson. We hate him. We don’t want him here.’ We’re trying to come to a deal with Roy Nelson. I want Roy Nelson in the UFC. 6 MUST-READ STORIES Miocic stuns Nelson. Unheralded firefighter Stipe Miocic thoroughly dominated top-5 heavyweight contender Roy Nelson en route to a surprising unanimous decision victory at UFC 161. (Video.) Afterward, Nelson opened the door for a return to the UFC, while a jubilant Miocic reflected back on how he pulled off the upset. Evans victorious. In a battle to maintain relevance atop the light heavyweight division, former champion Rashad Evans eked out a split decision victory over Dan Henderson at the main event of UFC 161. (Video.) Several pros scored it the other way, but ultimately the Fight Metric report agreed with the final outcome. Pettis update. Over the…

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