01 Jan Dana White reacts to Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr.: ‘I hope they both made a zillion f*cking dollars’
UFC President Dana White rarely holds back when he doesn’t like something, particularly when it comes to boxing. But on the exhibition fight between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr., he didn’t really have a bad thing to say.
“You guys have been asking me questions leading up to this thing, and I didn’t want to say anything negative, because I love Tyson and he’s a good friend of mine,” White said after the boxing legends faced off Saturday for social media website Triller. “He’s 56 years old. Time is undefeated. Time takes us all down, and one of the things that I was worried for Mike is he has this incredible aura still, and 56 years old, fighting is a young man’s game. All that being said, he looked f*cking awesome tonight. I was blown away by how good he looked.”
Sitting octagon-side at UFC APEX, UFC President Dana White watched three screens during UFC Vegas 15: his fights, Tyson vs. Jones Jr., and college football.
“I was worried about Roy – Roy is 51 years old, but Roy has been way more active than Tyson has been, but Roy actually got more tired than Mike tonight, which was shocking,” White said. “I’m happy for them. I hope they both made a zillion f*cking dollars, and it exceeded my expectations.”
The eight-round boxing match was declared a draw by three former fighters turned judges that scored the bout for the sanctioning body WBC. Even though the decision didn’t count against either fighter because it was an exhibition, the internet erupted with criticism.
White might have been impressed by Tyson and Jones, but there was a clear winner.
“Tyson won that fight,” he said.
The former heavyweight boxing champ and feared legend didn’t complain about the result on Saturday night. In the leadup to the internet-streamed pay-per-view, Tyson said no matter what happened, he might continue on in the fight game, using his platform to serve charities that help as many people as possible.
Tyson doesn’t need White’s blessing, but the UFC boss isn’t upset about that, either.
“Listen, he’s a grown-ass man – he’s going to do what he wants anyway,” White said. “But good for him. It was actually a good fight, it was an entertaining fight to watch, and I thought he looked really good. I’m happy for him.”
As to whether that support would extend to Jones Jr., who said the bout with Tyson could open the door for a long-awaited showdown with former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, White wasn’t as positive. As successful as Triller appeared to be in capturing the attention of fight fans around the world, completely drowning out the UFC’s offering on Saturday night, the UFC exec said he isn’t interested in competing with other promotions who attempt to capitalize on nostalgia.
“I don’t know,” he said of Silva vs. Jones Jr. “To my core, I”m a f*cking fight fan, and what I truly believe is the fight business is for young guys. It’s not for old guys. Listen, I get that there’s still some name value out there, and you can make some money. But when you’re a fight fan, I want to see the best in the world, the up-and-coming kids, I want to see these guys fight, and I want to know who the baddest mother f*cker in the world is in every division. As a fight fan, that’s who I am, and that kind of stuff doesn’t interest me.
“Anderson Silva had his day. Roy Jones Jr. had his day. Today is not their day. It’s just not. These guys that you saw fight are the future. This is what I’m interested in. I could sit here all f*cking night and watch kids that fought tonight fight. It’s just not really what I do. There’s other people out there that do that, plenty of people that do the old guy stuff. I don’t do the old guy stuff.”