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Dana White discusses change to UFC 133 main event

One of the few constants in Mixed Martial Arts is the likelihood of change, especially when it comes to the lineup for any given card. That very concept played out this week in regards to UFC 133 after it was announced undefeated light heavyweight Phil Davis had withdrawn from the August 6 show due to an undisclosed injury and would be replaced in his headlining bout against Rashad Evans at the event.

Within hours rumors had already surfaced relating to who would slide into Davis’ vacancy with Lyoto Machida initially looking like the frontrunner to fill the spot. However, in the end, former long-standing divisional champ Tito Ortiz stepped up to the plate after already notching an impressive win over Ryan Bader earlier this month.

UFC President Dana White discussed the entire situation and offered his insight on the UFC 133 main event earlier today in a conference call with media and Five Ounces of Pain wwas be on hand to relay interesting nuggets of information and relevant soundbytes back to the public.

Read ahead and find out what White thinks about Ortiz’s willingness to take the fight, Machida’s change of heart after initially accepting the match-up, and the situation in general…

Dana White:

– Was informed last week about Davis’ knee who had a MRI on Monday to determine the damage where it was revealed he wouldn’t be able to fight, said Davis hadn’t been able to kickbox for the last 2 1/2 weeks
– Explained Machida originally accepted the fight and was excited about it but came back asking for “Anderson Silva money”
– White told Machida when he accomplishes what Silva has he can make Silva’s money
– Ortiz called him late Tuesday night and said he’d reconsidered after initially declining it
– Confirmed Ortiz did not ask for more money
– White honestly felt Ortiz’s last fight in the UFC, perhaps MMA, was going to come against Bader and didn’t renegotiate his salary as a result (hence Tito’s $450,000 payday at UFC 132)
– Said Ortiz won’t be top contender if he beats Evans but he’ll definitely be “in the top three”
– Referred to how close Ortiz’s fights have been while crediting his BJJ and said the difference between him and some of his “old school” peers is how well his chin has held up
– If Ortiz had refused the fight the UFC would have looked at Vlad Matyushenko who is already booked for the card
– Evans told him he didn’t care who the opponent was and he was down to fight at the event regardless
– Said Davis was still “100%” down to fight at UFC 133 even with his injury but the company wasn’t willing to risk his long-term health
– Still shocked by Machida agreeing to the fight, then coming back with a financial demand, but doesn’t envision it affecting future discussions between the two sides
– Using a Strikeforce light heavyweight was never an option and alluded to how thin their 205-pound division is
– Said Davis will only need to rehab his knee and surgery won’t be required, will offer a specific condition later this week
– Thinks Evans’ ring-rust could play a big factor in the fight
– Hasn’t spoken to Machida’s camp since the initial request for more money
– Joked that he wanted to get off the phone with Ortiz before be changed his mind about taking the fight
– Said Chris Leben and Chael Sonnen both texted him and asked for the Evans fight
– Confirmed Evans will still receive a title-shot if he beats Ortiz
– Ortiz was the first person White called based on how recently he’d competed
– Closed the call commenting on the Rory MacDonald vs. Mike Pyle fight where he expressed a lot of excitement about the match-up based on both being on the cusp of breaking into the next plateau of opponents