Ariel Helwani wasn’t in Germany to conduct his customary post-fight interview with Dana White, but Fighters Only’s John Joe O’ Regan stepped in instead to pick the UFC president’s brains on some of the major talking points resulting from the show.
– Dana says he was happy with the prelims and the Dennis Siver vs Andre Winner fight, but not with some of the other fights. Asked for specifics he mentions the main event between Yushin Okami and Nate Marquardt. In particular it’s Marquardt’s performance that seems to have bothered him the most.
“I love Nate Marquardt, he’s a great kid but he didn’t show up tonight,” he says. As we reported earlier today White is pointing the blame for this firmly in the direction of the fighter’s training camp. “I’ve got to be honest man, you see this happen now consistently with the Greg Jackson camp.” he says. “There’s this ‘avoid the fight cos we think we’re winning’ thing with this camp.”
– Regan makes a good point that if Anderson Silva retains his title against Vitor Belfort then we could have another title fight in which the challenger – in this case Yushin Okami – may implement the kind of cautious gameplan that’s brought the worst out in the Brazilian in the past against guys likes Thales Leites and Demian Maia.
White can do nothing but shrug his shoulders at the situation.
“What are you going to do? We can go out there and put together the fights we think are the best fights and guys who deserve it and have got their way there. I mean Yushin Okami was supposed to get this title shot before. He was injured, couldn’t get it, and now – he beat Nate Marquardt to get it. No matter what nate did or didn’t do tonight Okami won the fight and he deserves his shot.”
– Moving on to next Saturday’s UFC 123 main event between Lyoto Machida and ‘Rampage’ Jackson, White says, “It’s a big fight for these guys. You’re looking at two guys in an incredibly stacked division, incredibly exciting division that are at the top of the food chain. So the winner of this fight is in a very good position and remains one of the top fighters in the world. Obviously a loss for one of these guys would mean two in a row and that’s not good for anybody.”
– Though he won’t get into detail about it Dana confirms Fighters Only’s scoop that New York Assemblyman Bob Reilly is not the real reason the UFC are having trouble legalizing the sport in NYC.
According to Regan the real opposition comes from a Union that have issues with the way the Fertitta Brothers run their casino’s in Vegas.
“I don’t wanna get into it, but yeah, Reilly isn’t what everyone thinks he is,” White confirms with a smile that suggests the site has stumbled across the truth of the matter.
– White is not sure when the UFC will return to Europe, but he makes a special point of mentioning Ireland. “They might hang me if they don’t get an event down there,” he says.
– As we previously reported White is now unsure about Brock Lesnar Vs Frank Mir 3 after fans voiced their disaproval at the match-up. He goes on to add that Roy Nelson may not be his opponent either as the TUF winner currently has contractual problems relating to a previous deal he signed before joining the UFC.
Check out the full interview with White below.