LAS VEGAS—The war of words between UFC President Dana White and heavyweight Alistair Overeem continued during a Thursday afternoon meeting with local Las Vegas media.
Earlier this week, White told UFC Tonight's Ariel Helwani that Overeem had turned down two offers to face former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos.
"He wants nothing to do with dos Santos," White said. "He's literally hiding from JDS, but he had no problem calling out Brock Lesnar who hasn't fought in 2 years and who is in WWE."
Overeem quickly responded to White via MMAFighting.com, saying that an injury was the reason he wasn't accepting any fights at the moment.
"I'm hurt," he said. "Rib problem. So first [I] need an ETA on recovery time. [It] would be unwise to accept any fight before knowing exactly what's up. [I] wouldn't want to pull out of any fight [due to] being unfit, especially an anticipated fight as this one."
During Thursday's media session, White said he didn't believe Overeem was hurt.
"I have a feeling this rib injury is going to last as long as it takes to get Dos Santos another opponent. That's what I'm willing to bet," White said. "This will be the longest rib injury ever. As soon as we get Dos Santos a fight, that rib is going to heal right up."
White, not known for pulling punches even when discussing his own fighters, continued.
"You say you want to be the best in the world? This is the No. 1 guy. This is the f-----g gatekeeper. You beat this guy, nobody is going to question you," White said. "Shouldn't you be chomping at the bit for this? Especially when you came in here and told us how much money you deserve and how you're gonna be the next champ?"
Overeem is coming off a unanimous decision win over Frank Mir at UFC 169. The win was a dominant one for Overeem and stopped a two-fight losing streak, but White said at the post-fight press conference that he wasn't all that impressed with Overeem's performance.
"He fought safe. I think he could have finished Mir. He kept his job," White said. "It was a crappy performance by Alistair and then he calls out someone who doesn't even fight in the UFC. It was not a great night for Overeem."
I asked White if Overeem, who commands a hefty sum for each of his fights, was the biggest bust in UFC history.
"No. That would be someone I believed in," White said. "That's not the case. And Alistair wasn't that."
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