The UFC officially opened for business today in Toronto with the final prefight press conference. After a 50-minute presser, Dana White stuck around to lend clarity to some of the bigger stories around MMA.
- Jon Jones' hand injury will probably keep him out six months. Earlier today, the Jones Camp answered allegations of ducking the fight against Rashad Evans.
- White confirmed that Nick Diaz's Strikeforce contract allows him to box, but that doesn't necessarily mean he will. White plans on meeting with him after UFC 129 to figure things out.
- During the press conference, Jake Shields confirmed that his trainer Cesar Gracie is not in Toronto this week. Visa issues prevented Gracie from entering the country (43:30 mark).
- White said Royce Gracie is pressing him to face Matt Hughes at UFC in Rio in August. He's very hesitant to make the fight. Gracie was present at the presser and White said he was going to meet with the legend shortly.
- According to MMAjunkie, Jason Miller was recently signed by the UFC because as White said, "he was banned from fighting on Showtime and CBS." Matchmaker Joe Silva wanted him, so they signed the MMA veteran. This from USA Today:
"Mayhem, he's banished from CBS for life. In my opinion, he was a guy that was put into a position -- first of all, we control what happens inside that Octagon; the fighters do not. In our organization, you don't see melees break out in huge fights. And you see what happens when somebody does cross the line and does stuff like that," White said.
"I think Mayhem was put in a bad position. And I don't know -- I haven't talked to Mayhem about this; this is just what I believe, in conversations I've had with Joe Silva."
- White said Strikeforce is working on a fight between Fedor Emelianenko and Dan Henderson. He has zero involvement in the negotiations. UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta has taken the lead on trying to put that match together.
- White said he's disappointed with the ratings for Season 13 of "The Ultimate Fighter," but blames the time slot. White isn't happy that Spike bumped TUF up to 9 p.m. ET and put "Coal" at 10. He said TUF is battling some big-time programming on television in that time slot.
- He expects Cain Velasquez back in October. He could've returned earlier but suffered a setback in his recovery from a shoulder injury. Brock Lesnar and Junior dos Santos square off in June with the winner expected to battle Velasquez in the fall for the UFC heavyweight title.
- White is confident that the UFC 129 setup is better than the recent mega-fights featuring Manny Pacquiao at Cowboys Stadium. He also said the promotion is considering opening more seats to add to the current 55,000 seat configuration (1:07:30 mark).
Some presser info courtesy of Yahoo!'s Kevin Iole and MMAjunkie's John Morgan.
You can watch UFC 129 on PPV (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) right here on Yahoo! Sports.
- Dana White
- Cesar Gracie
- Royce Gracie