With Ronda Rousey making herself unavailable to the press leading up to her fight this Friday at UFC 207, there’s been a shortage of headlines coming out of Las Vegas leading up to the event. Perhaps in an attempt to make up for that, UFC president Dana White held his first media scrum in several months, answering any and all questions from reporters for a good thirty minutes. Unsurprisingly, the first thing asked of him was whether he was okay with his star attraction refusing to do the typical promotional rounds.
“It’s definitely not ideal,” he said with a wry smile. “But it’s what she asked for. And like I said, back in the day Ronda would literally do anything we asked her to do. Anything. And if the guys wouldn’t do something, she would pick up the ball and do it herself. So for her to ask for something like this, how can I say no to this? She’s done a lot … she’s never asked for much. She asked for this, and we said yes.”
“Everybody knows that Ronda is psychotically competitive and I don’t know why this is the way she’s handling all this, but this is what she wanted to do,” he continued. “And like I’ve said a million times, for a woman who’s given as much as she’s given to this sport and this company, it’s not that much to ask for.”
But White refuted the idea that Ronda’s head was in a bad place coming into this fight with current champion Amanda Nunes, a dangerous striker with serious finishing power.
“She’s as good as I’ve ever seen her,” White said. “I mean, you guys have seen pictures of her and stuff. Physically in amazing shape. She’s in great spirits. She’s fired up and she’s ready. She’s like the old Ronda again. But she just had to deal with this whole thing the way she wanted to deal with it.”
But it’s definitely not something she should get used to. White described the no media arrangement as a ‘one and done’ deal before assuring reporters that it wasn’t something we can expect to see more of from other fighters.
“It doesn’t open floodgates. It doesn’t change anything,” he insisted. “If somebody doesn’t want to show up for a press conference I’ll pull them from the card.”