LAS VEGAS -- If you were expecting Dana White to trash Nate Quarry, think again.
But the oft-profane UFC president isn't about to trade verbal barbs with the retired fighter.
"I like Nate Quarry," White told reporters Thursday. "Let me tell you what. You're never going to hear me say anything negative about any of the guys from season one of The Ultimate Fighter. I love those guys, I respect them, I always had a great relationship with Nate Quarry."
Among Quarry's issues were that he received a flat payment of $10,000 for his loss to Rich Franklin in a UFC middleweight title fight at UFC 56. White echoed recent comments by Lorenzo Fertitta in a recent Yahoo! Sports column,which pointed out that Quarry fought Franklin before the UFC turned the corner from a $44 million debt to profitability.
"Lorenzo said it the best, it's unfortunate that Nate fought at a time when we were still $44 million in the hole, you know?" White said.
"It's easy to look back and go "they invested $44 million and this thing's worth a few billion," White said. "Easy to say that now. But back then? ... It was so close to being shut down and going away. There was a time I was like, we're never, f------- ever get that $44 million back. It's never going to happen. There was a time when I absolutely believed that."
White, however, didn't show much in the way of sympathy for fighters' ability to attract sponsors, which was the basis of much of Quarry's argument, particularly since some fighters whose fights air on Fight Pass streams have found difficulty getting sponsors.
"It's not my f----- problem," White said. "Getting sponsorship is a problem. It's tough. it's hard to do. That question is ridiculous. If a guy fights on Fight Pass, first of all, he's getting paid to fight. That's what he's getting paid for. That's what he does. How sponsorship works out for a guy is not my problem. That is not my problem. He's a fighter, he gets paid to fight, period, end of story. Whatever extra money he makes outside of the UFC with sponsors and all that s---, that's his f------ deal."