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UFC 104:

Dana White suggests Dan Henderson headed to Strikeforce

Dana White holds court to answer any and all questions regarding UFC

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Justin M. Bowen

UFC President Dana White responds to questions during a meeting with photographers at a pre-fight press conference. White traditionally meets with reporters to answer all questions regarding the UFC before pay-per-view events.

Fireside Chat with Dana White: UFC 104

UFC President Dana White is known for sitting down with media members at every pre-fight press conference to answer any and all questions about his organization. In our second installment of Fireside Chat, White discusses everything from Dan Henderson's possible deal with Strikeforce to the lastest episode of the Ultimate Fighter to Chuck Liddell's appearance on Dancing with the Stars.

UFC 104 Pre-Fight Press Conference

UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida and challenger Mauricio Rua face-off during a pre-fight press conference Thursday at the Westside Pavilion Mall in Los Angeles. The two will headline Saturday's fight at the Staples Center. Launch slideshow »

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LOS ANGELES — Keeping true to a well-established tradition of pre-fight press conferences, UFC President Dana White sat down to answer questions from media members Thursday.

The Las Vegas Sun provides a look into these conversations with the package Fireside Chats, which includes video and text breakdown of the main topics covered by White. While this version probably features a little stronger language than the ones of the 1930s with Franklin D. Roosevelt, it is Dana White, so that’s to be expected.

Here’s what he had to say today, just days before Saturday's UFC 104.

Dan Henderson to Strikeforce?

By now it’s well known that middleweight star Dan Henderson and the UFC have hit a stalemate in negotiating the fighter’s new contract. Amidst that news, rumors began that Henderson could sign with Strikeforce.

Apparently, that deal could be closer than many had even speculated.

“You know what’s hilarious?” White said. “I went to dinner last night and Dan's lawyer and (Strikeforce CEO) Scott Coker are sitting at dinner together. I said what are the odds out of all the restaurants in L.A., these guys would be here?”

Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture

The two coaches of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter are in two very different places now, according to White.

Chuck Liddell just finished a stint on the show Dancing with the Stars and will probably again express interest to come out of retirement, a decision that White has never supported.

Randy Couture, on the other hand, recently signed a six-fight deal with the UFC and is scheduled to move down to the light heavyweight division to face Brandon Vera next month.

White said he thinks Couture still has plenty of tools to compete in the sport — especially the 205-pound division — while Liddell’s career as a fighter needs to be over.

“Couture just fought Nogueira in an incredibly exciting war,” White said. “At 205, that guy is a beast. I think the questions on Randy Couture will be answered at UFC 105 when he fights Brandon Vera.

“I was out with Chuck last night and I need to keep him busy. We’re going to figure it out. Me and Chuck are going to figure out what he’s going to do. We’re actually going to meet in the next two months.”

Rampage not happy with his portrayal on The Ultimate Fighter

Many fans watching this season of The Ultimate Fighter know that Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson has not exactly been portrayed as coach of the year.

According to White, it’s not the show’s editors who are making Rampage come off bad — that’s just Rampage.

“It is what it is, we don’t dub him,” White said. “People don’t like what they look like sometimes on the show.”

Kimbo Slice didn't get special treatment

Another thing fans watching the show know is that White hasn’t really gotten along with one fighter, Roy Nelson, from the start.

White responded to earlier comments made by Nelson, a Las Vegas fighter who beat Kimbo in the third episode of the show, regarding his contention that Slice was given special privileges, perhaps even his own media center.

Although Nelson has since said that the comments were taken out of context, White didn't appreciate it.

“Roy Nelson is a moron, he’s an idiot,” White said. “Never once did this guy use the phone to call anybody. (Slice) didn’t get any special treatment and if he did, I’d tell you. He didn’t.”

Fedor vs. Brett Rogers

White was obviously heated earlier this year when his efforts to sign Ukrainian heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko burned out and the fighter signed with Strikeforce instead.

Emelianenko’s first fight with Strikeforce is a bout with Brett Rogers, scheduled for Nov. 7 and will be aired live on the CBS network.

As he has before, White reiterated the fact that no one should call Emelianenko the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world until he’s willing to face the heavyweights of the UFC.

“You guys love to rank him high in the polls. You guys are nuts,” White said. “He’s fighting Brett Rogers. What do you guys think of Brett Rogers? I think that Fedor should be fighting Brock (Lesnar). If anybody has the perception that this guy is the best fighter in the world, then he should be fighting the other best fighter in the world.”

Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or [email protected].

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