MEMPHIS, Tenn. - UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar continues to have serious health problems, according to UFC president Dana White.

"He's still really sick," White told reporters Thursday. "We won't know for probably another month and a half. He had that minor surgery, he's going to change his diet, do some things and see what happens."

White confirmed the six-foot-three 265-pounder had been diagnosed with diverticulitis, a digestive disease found in the large intestine.

The fighter was checked out by the Mayo Clinic but there is no word on how long he will be sidelined.

"It could be out for forever," White said. "We won't know for the next couple of months. . . He's either going to need major surgery or he's not."

"He believes he's going to come back (and fight again)," he added. "He's confident and positive. He's in a much better place than he was when he was in the hospital."

According to White, doctors say Lesnar has only been at 60 per cent for the last year. "That's scary in itself."

"He felt like he was sick, he felt like he had the flu. He didn't know what he had. He went to the hospital a bunch of times, they couldn't tell him anything. They have a big place up in Canada, so his brother said 'Let's go up to Canada and hang out' and he dropped in Canada. Literally, that's where it all happened."

As to the heavyweight title scene, White said he was going to wait to see if Lesnar needed the major surgery before making any decisions. An interim title fight is likely if Lesnar continues to be sidelined.


ALEXANDER CUT - Houston (The Assassin) Alexander is paying for his peekaboo strategy in last weekend's loss to Kimbo Slice.

"If we didn't cut him yet, we're cutting him soon," a disgusted White said of Alexander.

Alexander chose to circle Slice for most of the fight, circling him while attempting the occasional leg kick as his opponent tried to chase him down.

"I was going to leave, I was going to get up and walk out of the fight," White said. "That's what I thought of it.

"If I didn't have to hand out 'The Ultimate Fighter' trophy at the end, I'd have left that night. Not a good night for me."

White, however, said he was finally impressed by TUF winner Roy (Big Country) Nelson.

"Brendan (Schaub) trained hard for that fight up in Colorado and was ready for that fight. And Roy knocked him out in the first round. Looks like me and Roy are going to be together for a while," he said with a smile.

White also said Slice proved him wrong.

"As disgusted as I was with Houston Alexander's performance, Kimbo beat a real guy."

White said he thought light-heavyweight was the best place for Slice, although he's not sure whether he can make 205 pounds.


THE ICEMAN COMETH - White is still not happy that Chuck (The Iceman) Liddell is returning to the cage, but says it's just for one fight.

"That's my plan. He does one fight and then he retires. Win, lose or draw," he said, adding wistfully, "We'll see what happens, when it happens."

Liddell, who turns 40 this month, is slated to fight Tito (The Huntington Beach Bad Boy) Ortiz after the two serve as rival coaches on Season 11 of "The Ultimate Fighter."

"I'm not thrilled with it. It's not what I wanted but like I said I'm not his father."

Liddell (21-7) has lost his last two and four of his last five fights. But White says medically he has been cleared to compete.

"He's right to fight, he can still fight, I just don't want him to do it. The only thing wrong with Chuck is right now Chuck's too old. Chuck hasn't lived the Randy Couture lifestyle ... He's had a much different lifestyle than Randy."


RAMPAGE RETURNS - White says he has made up with Quinton (Rampage) Jackson. The two fell out when the former light-heavyweight champion chose not to fight in his home town of Memphis at UFC 107 so he could act in the movie remake of "The A-Team."

White said he and Jackson had "an unpleasant 45-minute conversation" right before the Season 10 finale to "The Ultimate Fighter" finale last Saturday in Las Vegas. Despite the tone, the two reached a resolution.

"He'll be back," White said.

"We started fighting on text that day. He sent me a really bad text and I sent him a really bad text back. And then he sent me a text that said 'Call me, I can't spell good enough to fight over text."'

NOTES - White said he was "really proud" of Canadian lightweight Mark Bocek's win over Joe (The South Side Strangler) Brammer last weekend. As a teenager, Bocek taught jiu-jitsu to White and UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta. "It's good to see him do well. He's a great guy." ... Welterweight contender Thiago Alves returns to action March 27 in Newark, N.J. for UFC 110, when welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre is expected to defend his title against Dan (The Outlaw) Hardy ... White says middleweight champion Anderson Silva will meet Vitor Belfort in April. ... Former welterweight title-holder Matt Hughes is also slated to return to the cage in April, likely against Renzo Gracie. ... White has washed his hands of Dan Henderson, now that the former Pride star has left for Strikeforce. "Dan probably won't be back in the UFC," said a grim-faced White. "He'll retire over there."