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Dana White says cancelling UFC 177 was never an option: ‘I don’t know if a champ is ever in a position not to accept a fight’

UFC President Dana White spoke to members of the media following the UFC 177 weigh-ins, where he discussed the reasons as to why he had no intention of cancelling UFC 177.

Anton Tabuena

In the last 24-hours, the UFC saw a former champion and an Olympic Gold medalist fail to make weight for their respective bouts the following day, and a preliminary fighter get boosted into the main event against the bantamweight champion of one of the weakest - if not the weakest - cards in UFC PPV history.  While a slew of disasters such as the aforementioned ones could have signaled the death of UFC 177, Dana White was adamant that the promotion had no intention of cancelling the fight card.

"We cancel the show, some heavy s*** has rained down on us if we cancel the show," White stated at the UFC 177 pre-fight media scrum. "First of all, Dillashaw is the only UFC champion out of Sacramento ever," White said. "He's still fighting, he's fighting in his hometown, he's fighting a tough guy, a guy he just trained with a few weeks ago."

When asked whether bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw had any objection to the last minute main event change, White said that he wasn't even sure a champion had the option to turn down a fight.

"I don't know if a champ is ever in a position not to accept a fight. You're the champion, which means you are the best guy in the world. You should be ready to take on all-comers, no matter who they are.  Whether it is the No. 1 ranked guy in the world or the No. 100. You're the man. There should never be a guy you turn down or deny."

It appears as though White has chosen to tactically ignore the UFC 151 fiasco, which saw Jon Jones flatly reject the promotion's proposal to replace an injured Dan Henderson with Chael Sonnen on eight days notice, which subsequently forced the promotion to cancel the event.

Instead, White took the opportunity to lecture the media members in attendance on the theoretical characteristics of a champion in the UFC.

"Being a champion, being the No. 1 guy in the world, it is never easy. You're the guy with a target on your back. No he's got tons of media obligations. It is all a part of being the champ. If it was easy everyone would be doing it."