Dana White is a happy and no doubt relieved man today after big stars like Anderson Silva, Stephan Bonnar and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira stepped in as replacements for the injury ravaged UFC 153 fight card over the past 24 hours.
Talking to MMAJunkie, White was full of praise for the fighters who had been willing to step in at four week’s notice, while he couldn’t resist taking a not-so-subtle dig at Jon Jones who recently refused to take a short notice fight resulting in the cancelation of UFC 151.
“We’re back on track,” White stated. “Anderson Silva wasn’t scheduled to fight at all. I called him today, and he’s shooting a commercial in Brazil. Anderson Silva steps up, and Stephan Bonnar wants to fight him. The Teixeira vs. Maldonado fight comes together, and then Nogueira was standing right there with Anderson shooting the commercial with him, and he said he wanted to fight, too.
“This is old-school UFC. A card is in jeopardy, but guys that are world champions and superstars stepped up and jumped in and saved the card. This is why the fans love this sport and why we went on a 12-year run without canceling an event.”
In all fairness, I think if Jon Jones had been given four weeks notice he’d have taken the fight with Chael Sonnen at UFC 151. In fact in a way he did as he agreed to fight Vitor Belfort on roughly a month’s notice at UFC 152.
Still, White is right to be happy with how things have panned out for the Rio event as they’ve now re-assembled the main card into something that fans will once again be eager to see.