“He felt very disrespected and felt like he never really belonged here,” White said. “He had a losing record in PRIDE and we didn’t want to bring him into the UFC, so we said, ‘We’ll pay you the money and you can ride off into the sunset and do your thing.’ And he was like, ‘F— that. I want to be paid to fight.’ First of all, a losing record, his age, the guy hadn’t fought in a long time. It just made no sense to bring the guy in.
Even though we weren’t wrong (about not wanting him at first), we ended up being wrong. He proved us wrong, he proved everybody who doubted him wrong. We just didn’t cut him, we kept him – and imagine if we had cut him.
Since that day, how we didn’t want him, and just wanted to pay him and have him basically go away, he took incredible offense to that and never felt like he really belonged here,” White said. “I understand that. I said, ‘I’ll fix the things that made you feel this way. You’re right, and I’m sorry this happened to you. We do respect you and I think you’re one of the greatest stories in sports right now, to be honest with you.’ So I got everything worked out and now he’s ecstatic and I’m happy I could do it.
– UFC President Dana White via MMAJunkie.com