UFC 261: Dana White on “Thug Rose” Reclaiming Her Title, Talks with Nick Diaz


Jacksonville, FL — First off, let’s get this out of the way real quick. Yes, Nick Diaz was in attendance at UFC 261. And yes, it was more that just a friendly visit to take in some fights.

In fact, UFC President Dana White revealed following the event, Diaz is looking for a fight.

“Nick wants to fight,” White stated during the post-fight press conference. “We’ll see how this goes.”

Diaz was in fact waiting for the UFC’s top dog in the back. And while White would not let slip any name for a potential opponent, someone else brought up Khamzat Chimaev. And no, Chimaev is not out of the realm of possibility for Diaz.

Well then. Before any rumors get started, that was far from a confirmation. But Diaz, apparently, will be back. The Stockton native last fought in 2015, against Anderson Silva, with the fight ending in a No Contest due to drug test failures on both sides. Diaz’s, not surprisingly, was for marijuana.

In the meantime, one of the biggest stories of the night was the resurgence of “Thug Rose.” Rose Namajunas shocked everyone, most of all Weili Zhang, with a first round head kick that dropped the champ. Just a few strikes later, and Rose was once again the UFC’s undisputed strawweight champion.

“First female to ever regain her title again. Never been done,” White observed Saturday. “I do, and you do too, respect Weili and how incredible she is and what a tough fighter she is, how hard she works and how hard she trains.”

“To come out and do what [Namajunas] did tonight, was very impressive.”

Later, White described Rose Namajunas as “one of the sweetest human beings you’ll ever meet. We love Rose.” Admittedly, however, Namajunas struggled in the spotlight during her first title reign. “Rose doesn’t love all the attention when she’s the champ,” White told Cageside Press. “It’s one of those things, it’s part of the gig, it’s part of the deal. But it hasn’t made the fans love her any less. Listen to this place tonight. People love Rose.”

“We’ll just let Rose be Rose. I won’t mess with her. Let her do her thing,” he finished.

Watch the full UFC 261 post-fight press conference with Dana White above.


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