UFC President Dana White and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion (and current number one 205-pound contender) Rashad Evans got into a bit of a public tiff last week after a piece by Franklin McNeil ran by ESPN portrayed Evans as frustrated that he is having to wait for current champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua to recover from knee surgery before fighting again. White was confused by Evans’ quotes, said so publicly and so a controversy was born. Speaking with MMAJunkie.com recently, White explained that the entire situation was silly; that he and Evans are getting along fine and that “Suga” is even content with the currently outlined schedule for Rua’s return.
“Rashad and I talked right after that whole goofy incident,” White said. “We’re cool.”
Taking to his Twitter shortly after the report initially broke, Evans explained that he felt misrepresented by the article and that he was only frustrated at having heard conflicting dates for Rua’s return; not at having to wait in general, a decision he said he made with full knowledge of the consequences. White pointed out that these things happen sometimes when fighters talk to the media, and that it isn’t a stretch to believe Evans’ quotes were taken out of context.
The brash figurehead was quick to point out however, that it is not uncommon for him to butt heads with some of the many fighters on the UFC’s roster and that he and Rashad are no strangers to arguing with one another.
“Me and Rashad fight sometimes,” White said. “We get into arguments, and I do with all the guys. Nothing is ever 100 percent. ‘Hey, this is great. We’re all the best.’ Sometimes you’re going to have different opinions and disagree on things, and we’re going to go out and say things publicly, but we try to patch them up behind the scenes.”
Regardless, White revealed that Rua is expected to make a full recovery with plenty of time to make it into the main event of the UFC’s next fight card to be held in Abu Dhabi: likely UFC 128, an unscheduled event planned for this March. White promised that Rua’s recurring knee injuries will likely become a thing of the past and that the UFC has big plans for the 205-pound division in 2011, starting with Rua’s title defense against Evans.
“He’s had these knee problems before, and he got his knee done in Brazil and then never did the therapy he was supposed to do,” White said. “(He) always tried to come back too soon. The guy who did his knee this time is the best. He might even be the best in the world, and Shogun’s done all the right things – done the right rehab, taken time off, didn’t come back training too soon. Everything’s on schedule, and he’s looking good.”