White not exactly enjoying his big day

November, 9, 2011
11/09/11
10:24
PM ET
Okamoto By Brett Okamoto
ESPN.com
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Dana WhiteEd Mulholland for ESPN.comUp to here: The pressure to deliver Saturday is getting to UFC president Dana White.

LOS ANGELES -- Dana White is putting up a good front. Internally, he admitted Wednesday, he’s going a little crazy.

While there’s been talk of the pressure that’s on heavyweights Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos to start the UFC’s 7-year deal with Fox Network off with a bang Saturday, it’s actually the promotion’s president who is feeling the heat.

As it turns out, the day White has been working towards for years -- seeing his product on network television -- is causing him some serious anxiety.

“People are always like, ‘How do you feel?’” White said. “I’m sick. I haven’t slept in four days. I’m a basket case right now. I’m more of a control freak than I’ve ever been.

“Ask me on Monday how I feel. Right now, it’s not good. If I don’t drop dead by Saturday, it’ll be a good thing.”

An admitted “control freak,” White is most concerned over the matters he has no control of. He literally shivered when asked what the promotion would do if Velasquez or Dos Santos managed to injure himself before Saturday.

He's also less than one month removed from watching longtime boxing referee Joe Cortez mishandle a title fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Victor Ortiz in Las Vegas on HBO. The California State Athletic Commission announced earlier this month White’s favorite official, Herb Dean, would not oversee the main event.

The multi-year deal with Fox hasn’t even officially started yet -- it won’t until January 2012 -- and already White says he just can’t wait to get the first show on the network finished and under his belt.

“I feel weird,” he said. “I can’t wait for Saturday to be over with. I want to nail this thing, do it right and move forward.”

Despite his anxiety, White said he did not advise his heavyweights to train any differently. He wants his athletes in top form Saturday, hazardous preparations or not.

The UFC has worked its way around countless injuries to main event fighters in the past. White is just hoping it doesn’t come to that this time.

“This is a full contact sport and that’s how they train,” White said. “You roll with the punches, pun intended. If you look at our history, when it happens, we fix it. That’s what we do.

“It’s Wednesday. I’m feeling good nothing can happen between now and Saturday.”

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