MMA: White blasts Fresquez

UFC President Dana White on Tuesday ripped Albuquerque’s Lenny Fresquez, Holly Holm’s agent, for putting Holm in the octagon against Miesha Tate Saturday rather than waiting for a lucrative rematch with Ronda Rousey. Tate upset Holm by fifth-round submission (rear-naked choke), taking the UFC bantamweight title that Holm had won from Rousey in November. “(Fresquez) is an old boxing guy who thinks he’s smart, and he isn’t,” White said on ESPN’s Russillo & Kanell sports talk show. “The thing I feel bad about is, I feel bad for Holly because I don’t know if she really knows what she lost.” In response, Fresquez told the Journal on Wednesday that the decision to fight Tate was made with Holm’s total participation. “Of White’s suggestion the contrary, Fresquez said, “That’s totally wrong, totally wrong. She knew totally what the deal was.” Holm herself addressed the issue Saturday during the post-fight news conference. “A lot of people (were asking), ‘Why are you taking this fight? You should wait for the rematch.’ You know what, I’m in it to fight. That’s what I’m in it for.” Even having missed out on the huge payday that a rematch with Rousey would have produced, Holm shouldn’t be hurting financially. She was paid $500,000 for the Tate fight, by far the most a female fighter has made in disclosed pay (not including bonuses, shares of pay-per-revenue, etc.) in UFC history. The $500,000 payday, Fresquez said, was the result of a contract extension he negotiated with the UFC in January. Asked if Holm had made money from other sources related to the Tate fight, Fresquez declined to comment. White’s dislike for Fresquez has its roots in the negotiations that eventually led to Holm’s signing with the UFC. White, feeling Fresquez’s contractual demands were unreasonable, called the Albuquerque businessman “a lunatic.” White later withdrew from those negotiations and allowed UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta to step in. After Holm’s upset victory over Rousey in November, White was adamant that the Albuquerque fighter’s first title defense would be a rematch with Rousey. But with Rousey’s availability delayed by injuries and other commitments, Fresquez pushed for a title defense in the interim. “Yeah, I really care about his opinion,” White said sarcastically. Nevertheless, the Holm-Tate fight was made. White has said Tate’s first title defense will be against Rousey, who twice has beaten Tate. Fresquez said Team Holm at this point wants only a fight against Tate or against Rousey. “That’s what we’d like to do,” he said. “… I just hung up with the UFC this morning, and we’ll see what Miesha wants to do. Everything’s not going to happen in a week.”

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