Dana White met up with Ariel Helwani following UFC 124 to discuss the major talking points emerging from the night’s action in Montreal, Canada.
Here’s the keynotes from what he had to say.
– Dana admits he wasn’t expecting the headline fight between GSP and Josh Koscheck to be so one-sided. He reveals that Koscheck told him the night before the fight that he was convinced GSP wasn’t going to stand with him. White says GSP’s gameplan to switch up his style and stand rather than wrestle paid off.
He goes on to say that he wasn’t disappointed by Koscheck’s performance, but rather he was impressed with St.Pierre’s.
“He went out there and used a stiff, sick jab in that first round, and really he did all the damage to the eye in the first round, literally in the first six or seven jabs he hurt him bad with that jab, and then continued to do it for the rest of the fight.”
He also had praise for Koscheck though, pointing to the fact that he was given an opportunity to call off the fight after the third round due to the damage to his eye, but opted to continue and survived all five rounds.
– White says that GSP will always be criticized for not finishing fighters because of his stature in the sport. Even if does start finishing them White says people will then just complain about the standard of opposition he’s facing.
– The UFC president confirms that Jake Shields will be next for GSP. He does however leave the door open for St.Pierre to fight Anderson Silva at a later date, suggesting that it could happen if Silva was able to cut to 180lbs. It won’t happen in Toronto at UFC 131 in April though.
– White says Stefan Struve deserved to be the co-main event, stating, “That kid’s becoming an exciting new heavyweight.” He then confirms that Struve is now, “in the mix” with the likes of high ranking heavyweights like Carwin and Lesnar.
– Dana says that the reason Jim Miller Vs Charles Oliveira wasn’t featured in the UFC 124 countdown show wasn’t because of a snub on Miller, but rather that they didn’t want to fly a film crew to Brazil for Oliveira for a fight that far down the main card.
– Dana on Jim Miller: “He’s just one of those guys that has to work hard and do it better than everybody else to get noticed…he got noticed tonight.”
– White says Joe Stevenson’s job is not on the line. “I like guys that come in and go for it, and he’s one of those guys.”
– Thiago Alves improved diet which made for an easier weight cut is the reason behind his improved performance tonight. “He’s a fantastic fighter when he does things the right way.”
– White says he’s happy for Alistair Overeem that he won the K-1 World GP, and says that he likes him a lot. However, White dismisses the idea that Overeem should be a top 10 heavyweight in MMA, saying that the two sports should not be considered one and the same, and pointing to the Dutchman’s lack of fights and quality opposition in mixed martial arts.
– Dana says it’s hilarious that Strikeforce’s Fedor Emelianenko finally lost a fight, and yet the promotion is still having difficulties negotiating his next bout. “If that sh*t was happening in the UFC it would be mayhem, you guys would be busting my balls and going crazy.”
– Finally Dana takes another jab at Strikeforce following their last show which gained a very positive response due to a string of highlight-reel KO’s. “Their last fight was full of mismatches, complete mismatches, and if you don’t think so you’re out of your f*ckin’ mind, OK.”
“We could put on those kind of shows, but that’s not what we do. We put on the best fighters in the world. The best fight the best.”
He then questions why 40 year-old Matt Lindland was fighting Robbie Lawler, and points out that Scott Smith couldn’t make it in The Ultimate Fighter and was cut from the UFC.
Watch the full video below courtesy of MMAfighting.