"I thought he hated this place," White said when he was asked Saturday whether he was interested in the fighter. "I don't know, man. I don't think so."
Daley, who this past week was released by Bellator MMA, took to Facebook soon after to erase any doubts of his desire to return to the promotion.
"Given the opportunity Dana, I would be right back in there, please just send me that contract," he wrote.
White, however, is skeptical.
"I heard he couldn't get a visa," he said of the English fighter. "And they're real strict here now on visas. I thought he hated the UFC and said he'd never want to come back here and never wanted to fight here again. What changed?"
For one, Daley (33-12-2) is a free agent. A Bellator rep said the promotion released the fighter when it was discovered that he was convicted of assaulting a police officer rather than cleared of charges, as he had previously stated.
Three years ago, White released Daley from his contract for assault of another variety – an illegal suckerpunch to Josh Koscheck after the final bell rang in their fight at UFC 113. (Daley was also given a 30-day suspension by the commission overseeing the bout.)
For a while, it looked like the hard-swinging fighter would never be back inside the octagon.
"I know there's a lot of people that are fans," White said three months after the incident in August 2010. "Dude, that was one of the – I don't even know how to put a word on what that kid did."
White also took note when Daley said he was doing just fine without the promotion.
Later, though, the executive seemed to soften his stance on Daley.
"Any guy who loses in the UFC or other promotions, you lose, and you go get some wins somewhere else and come back," he said more than one year later. "I'm not a fan, to be honest."
That, of course, was when Daley was 2-2 in a four-fight stretch and had lost a bid for the Zuffa-owned and now-defunct Strikeforce welterweight title. As of late, Daley has won his past four bouts, all by way of TKO or KO, though he's faced sub-UFC competition.
White wasn't aware of that fact when asked whether he might take another look at Daley. That could change things, or maybe not. Daley's style likely won't keep him on the shelf for too long.
"People will always want to see him, wherever he goes," his manager, Wad Alameddine, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
). "Whether relies he on that a bit too much for my liking is one thing, but wherever he goes, he'll keep doing what he's doing, and keep knocking people out."