Former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight ace “Suga” Rashad Evans has provided some insight surrounding the issues between welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and UFC President Dana White. Woodley (18-3-1) has been vocal in the past towards White and is now publicly stating that negotiations are underway between him and Nate Diaz for the next welterweight championship fight. White has denied these claims.
Evans appeared on the “MMA Hour” to provide some insight into the situation and recalls a time in his career when he went through the same issues with White.
“Some of the fans might not know this, but I was the original Tyron Woodley as far as my relationship with Dana,” Evans told host Ariel Helwani.
“I understand where he’s coming from, but he’s going to learn what I learned. It reminds me of something someone told me when I got married, they said, ‘do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?’ -- because if you’re right you’re not going to be happy.
“At this point, he can’t win this because he fights for the UFC. Dana is the president of the UFC; there’s no way he can win this. Feel the way you feel, but you got to know whenever the conversation comes up that Dana said this -- don’t even address it. Don’t go down that road.”
White doesn’t have the best track record with fighters and has had numerous public run-ins with a number of current and former UFC stars. Evans then suggested these public disagreements with the UFC brass may affect his legacy in the sport.
“It’s a hard thing to do because your ego gets involved. You know (White’s) wrong and you want to prove it. You might feel it’s because of this or because of that and you want to expose the truth, but at the end of the day at what expense? Your legacy, your chance to be remembered for what you love to do. At the end of the day, these are the things that make you hate fighting,” he said.
“I took too many years off my fighting career arguing with Dana: trying to fight Shogun, trying to get a fight with this guy, trying to do all this stuff, but at the end of the day, it didn’t matter that much. I just lost time.
“I get what Tyron is saying and he’s right to feel the way he feels, but you’ve got ask yourself is it really worth it? Now here he is saying he wants a separate meeting with Dana just about how they can handle being around each other or how they should speak about each other -- that isn’t a conversation that should be happening.”
Evans told Helwani that he has previously spoken with Woodley about the issue and believes he’ll only fully understand that arguing with the president is a no-win situation in the long run.
“Yeah, I’ve talked to him, but here’s the thing about talking to someone about something that you went through, they don’t understand it until they go through it. I can tell him, but these are things he has to go through himself. He has to ask himself, ‘How much energy am I going to devote to this?’
“What do you gain from being right to Dana White? Nothing, you lose a lot. Whether you’re right or wrong you lose. Why even play with it if you want to be a fighter -- especially when two of your revenue streams are tied to things that he controls?”