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White to fighters: “You turn down fights, I’m going to say it”

White admits, his new tactic to combat the growing trend of fighters turning down fights is to now let the MMA media and community know of their decisions made in private. Most recent to fall into this was Cheick Kongo as he turned down a fight against Roy Nelson, replacing an injured Shane Carwin at the TUF Finale in December.

“Listen, if you turn down fights, I’m going to (expletive) say it,” said White. “And if you turn down a fight at least admit you turned down a fight.

“He turned down a fight, whether it’s on short notice or not, he turned down a fight.”

Kongo used his official Twitter account to respond to the criticism.

“I did NOT REFUSE to FIGHT Roy Nelson,” Kongo wrote on his official Twitter account. “I REFUSED to TAKE A FIGHT on SHORT NOTICE. Which is NOT THE SAME AT ALL.”

During the UFC 154 media scrum, White told the media that the issue stems from a fear of losing which he insinuates is not the heart of a fighter.

“[Turning down fights] is a lot more normal for guys who are worried about losing,” White told in a media scrum following the UFC 154 post-fight press conference in Montreal. “Guys who feel like they’re in a position where they lose, you know what I mean? You’re either fighters of you’re not.

“You come out and you fight and put it all on the line and if you win, you win. If you lose, back to the drawing board. I mean that’s the business that they’re in. But, you turn down a fight then you turn down a fight.”

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