After an eventful night’s action in Montreal, Canada there was plenty for mmafighting.com’s Ariel Helwani to discuss with UFC boss Dana White.
Here’s the key-notes from what he had to say, and be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the article for the full video.
– Dana was rendered almost speechless regarding Shogun Rua’s performance against Machida, saying, “It was unbelievable. How do you explain knockout out Machida in the first round the way that he did? I can’t even come up with a word for it, other than Shogun is back. He looked incredible tonight – very aggressive…no staying in there trading leg kicks, he came into finish that fight and he did it.”
Regarding Lyoto Machida being defeated for the first time, Dana said, “I don’t think it’s about people figuring him out, it’s just that match-up with Shogun.” He elaborated further by noting that, “when he gets in your guard and comes down with those punches in the ground and pound position – very powerful, he knocks people out like that and you saw it tonight.”
– As for the belief that the winner of Rampage Jackson Vs Rashad Evans will get the next title shot, White admitted it was looking likely. “Obviously more than likely yes one of those two are going to get that fight, get that shot at the title.”
– “He’ll never fight in the UFC ever again,” was the UFC president’s reaction to Paul Daley sucker-punching Josh Koscheck after their fight. “There’s no place in this sport or this business for stuff like that.”
– Dana also revealed that Daley’s response immediately after the incident had bothered him too. “When I went up into the octagon and talked to him after…he said, ‘ah I didn’t hear the bell,’ you know. When I asked him, ‘do you want to continue fighting in the UFC,’ he shrugged his shoulders and turned…well there you go – now you won’t.”
– As a final word on the matter he actually said he felt that Daley is still one of the best welterweight’s around, but despite that he went on to add, “I don’t care if he becomes the pound-for-pound best in the world and everyone’s screaming for him to be in the UFC, it won’t happen.”
There was controversy earlier in that fight when Koscheck appeared to be caught by an illegal knee, which caused a time-out to him recover. Video evidence seemed to show that he had not in fact been hit – a verdict that White agrees with. “I’ll tell you, honestly what I saw and what I thought was that he did not get hit with that knee, and he claims he did, so, what are you going to do?”
– Moving on, Dana praised Kimbo Slice as a person, saying that he was, “happy to have met him,” but confirmed that he would now be cut from the promotion despite his ability to boost ratings. “It’s not about being a huge draw, you know? It’s about having the right to be here cos whether your a big draw or not this is about the sport and about who’s the best, and, you know, there’s other people out here who deserve to be in the UFC.”
– Alan Belcher is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the UFC’s middleweight division and Dana was pleased with his performance. “Belcher’s become more aggressive, more confident in himself and willing to mix it up with anybody. I think he’s in the mix right now, I like him a lot.”
Finally Dana was more measured with his praise for another victorious fighter Matt Mitrione, but still had some encouraging words for him. “There’s a lot of things that play into a fight like this – nervousness, excitment, and I thought he carried himself well tonight. He needs to just get himself a little more experience and we’ll see what happens.”
Watch Dana White’s full post-fight interview courtesy of mmafighting.com below: