On Sept. 19, Mayweather's comeback bout against Juan Manuel Marquez will go head-to-head with UFC 103 on pay-per-view, and UFC President Dana White isn't backing down.
"I didn't plan on going head-to-head with them. They're weird like that," White said at a UFC 101 question-and-answer session with fans. "We had that date, and everyone asked them to go off that date but for some reason they like to fight with us."
It's rare to see dueling pay-per-views, but unless either side backs down, it seems an inevitability. Mayweather has repeatedly badmouthed MMA, saying the sport isn't on his level as a business and that it was invented for white fighters who were having trouble succeeding in boxing.
"These guys think this is some kind of a war and we're trying to destroy boxing. I don't hate boxing, but these guys keep trying to go head-to-head with us and doing stupid s***," said White, wearing a hometown Phillies jersey in front of the Wachovia Center crowd. "I don't even know what to say. I'm not going to back down on the Mayweather date."
White explained that because of venue considerations, the date is unchangeable for the UFC, and regardless, he had no reason to change it.
"I believe everyone in this room are probably fight fans, so everyone wants to see a good fight," he said. "If we had a fight on one night, and that's the night you could see... Listen, I don't think anyone's crazy about the September [Mayweather] fight. But, people do want to see Pacquiao-Mayweather. I want to see that fight. If they're going to put it on the same night we're going, I'm going to put a pay-per-view right next to the octagon when we're doing the show that night. It's just stupid to do, but that's the way these guys operate and the way they work."
UFC 103 features a main event of Rich Franklin against Vitor Belfort.
Among other newsworthy items White discussed, he mentioned that the UFC is considering merging together with the WEC.
"We're talking about that right now," he said.
Such a move would put a larger spotlight on accomplished fighters including Mike Brown, Urijah Faber and Miguel Torres, who is headlining Sunday's WEC card.
Other Dana White news tidbits...
On whether the UFC would be coming to New York soon:
"We cannot be denied anymore. We're going to New York and everywhere else."
On their recent Affliction acquisitions:
"We had a whole list of guys from the Affliction deal. Off the top of my head, I think we got 17 guys, with Vitor [Belfort] being one of them."
On utilizing the PRIDE assets they acquired in 2007:
"Things didn't work out with PRIDE the way we had planned, so we put together a TV show called 'The best of PRIDE' which will air in January on Spike. So all the old great PRIDE fights that happened will all the stars who are UFC guys now, you'll be able to see it."
On potentially doing a weekly UFC live event:
"The reality is they would love that right now. I could make that deal with a network in two seconds. The problem is that there's definitely not enough talent for a 'Tuesday Night Fights' type show.