5 YRS AGO: Dana White fires back in public war of words regarding Alistair Overeem’s UFC negotiations

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch editor-in-chief

Alistair Overeem (artist Grant Gould © MMATorch)

Five years ago, the UFC-Alistair Overeem negotiations were in the news with some public sparring over the way those talks were going between Dana White and Overeem’s team. The following is the quote and Jamie Penick’s analysis…

“I’m not trying to fight with Bas Boon. I don’t dislike Bas Boon or any of the Golden Glory guys. There’s never been some kind of situation where there was some kind of fight between us and Golden Glory. I have no resentment whatsoever towards Golden Glory. I’ve seen Bas Boon a million times. He’s a nice guy. We just had different business opinions on how things should be done. He knows and I know and everybody over there [at Golden Glory] knows… even the fighters. I don’t give a s*** what they tweet, what they take pictures of or what they say. They f****** know exactly how it worked and we would not do it that way. Now if Bas Boon is saying that this is the way that we can do it, then we can absolutely, positively make a deal and we can get this thing rolling again.

“To be in a position where Alistair Overreem could come over and fight in the UFC? Why would I not do it? I chased Fedor [Emelianenko] around… forever, when I told you guys publicly that I didn’t think he was the best. Pound-for-pound or otherwise. I was willing to prove it. Let’s get him over here. Let’s offer him a deal. You think I’m gonna chase Alistair Overeem and don’t want him fighting here? You think I want him to go somewhere else? No. Everything I told you guys, last week, about the way things went down was one hundred percent absolutely true.

“If [Golden Glory] have changed their mind and, believe me, it took an awful long time to come out with a press release and say, ‘Oh ya know, this was the truth.’ You guys asked me the question that night. Everybody was blowing me up. I was on the phone telling everybody: ‘Here’s the deal. This is what’s happening and here’s why we (Zuffa) can’t do a deal with them.’ It didn’t take me two weeks to come out with a press release.

“The facts are the facts. It’s the way it went down. I said it publicly, which they’re probably not used to, either. The Japanese don’t come out and talk s— like I do. I tell you guys the truth and the way that it is. It’s the way it went down. If they’ve changed their mind, we can absolutely make a deal and get their guys in the UFC.”

-UFC President Dana White talks to Ariel Helwani at NBCSports.com about his willingness to work with Golden Glory after Bas Boon’s statement earlier this week saying they were fine with the UFC paying fighters directly (transcribed by MMAMania.com).

Penick’s Analysis: Well, it’s looking increasingly likely that we’ll be seeing Alistair Overeem make his way to the UFC. Regardless of how things broke down behind the scenes, Golden Glory appeared to be attempting to make amends with Boon’s statement, and White is open to bringing them back into the fold. It will now just come out to a deal being put together, and there are a few fights that would be fantastic to see Overeem in inside the Octagon, so hopefully it’s something that can be put together for this winter to get him back into action.

[Dana White art by Travis Beaven (c) MMATorch.com]

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