One of the most interesting aspects of the UFC’s acquisition of the Strikeforce promotion was how UFC president Dana White would deal with all of the fractured relationships he has on the other side of the fence. He has maintained that he will do his best to ensure that things run smoothly as Zuffa begins their working relationship with Strikeforce and Showtime by keeping out of any situation where his presence might cause friction.
White told MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani last night at UFC 128 that he is currently sticking to his guns and keeping the peace, as is evidenced by the fact that White enjoyed a convivial encounter with Dan Henderson, with whom he shared a strained relationship over Henderson’s decision to leave the UFC for Strikeforce.
“Dan and I started texting a couple days ago, going back and forth – Dan and I are always busting each other’s balls – and he told me he was gonna come tonight, so I went over and talked to him. I think the key thing about this – we’ll call it a transition – is, I don’t want to make anybody feel uncomfortable,” said White. “We own this company now and it’s gonna be run separately. There was a meeting a couple days ago with Showtime that I hear went very well; I didn’t attend. We’ll see how this thing goes, it’s all still a work in progress. This deal’s a week old.”
White also touched on UFC castoff Paul Daley’s status in regards to his participation in the upcoming April 9 Strikeforce card. Daley, who was cut permanently from the UFC after throwing a late punch at Josh Koscheck at UFC 113, has said publicly that he is questioning whether or not he will follow through with the fight now that Strikeforce is owned by his former bosses. In response, White issued a casual warning to the British slugger.
“Paul Daley has a contract so it would be a good idea if he did,” said White.