Following a very successful return to Brazil last night with UFC 134 an elated Dana White took time out to have his customary post-fight interview with Ariel Helwani.
See keynotes from their conversation below and scroll down to watch the full interview for youreselves courtesy of MMAfighting.
– White hails the Brazilian crowd as the best ever, saying, “I’ve never seen anything like this.” He also credited the fans for getting in to the arena early and providing vocal support from the very first preliminary bout.
– The UFC president agrees that the event in Rio exceeded their expectations even before they arrived in the country, but also points out that the fighters more than played their part, producing exciting fights from start to finish.
– White again reiterates his belief that Anderson Silva is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and the best fighter ever.
– It’s Dana’s belief that Okami did the right thing by trying to stifle Silva by pressing him up against the cage and looking for takedowns, but ultimately he couldn’t impose his will on the champion and paid the price.
– At one point an extremely lackluster fight between Silva and Damien Maia in Abu Dhabi last year was a sore point for Dana White, but he says that Silva has more than made up for it now.
– Despite emerging unscathed in impressive fashion White confirms that Silva is still not under consideration for the UFC on FOX show in November.
– White does admit he’s got some ideas on who should fight on the FOX show, but he hasn’t spoken to the fighters yet so he’s not willing to divulge who they are.
– Dana won’t be drawn on who Silva’s next opponent will be, though he concludes that there are a number of options available to him. He also confirms that a Silva Vs GSP ‘superfight’ could still happen at some stage in the future.
– Forrest Griffin’s wife is due to give birth any time now and White is set to fly him home on his own personal plane in the hopes that he can make it back in time to see his daughter born.
White also praises Griffin for stepping up to the plate and taking this fight despite his reluctance to travel overseas at this time. Griffin had said he owed the UFC, but White says it’s a two-way street and that Griffin has done a lot of favors for the company over the years too.
– As for what comes next for ‘Shogun’ Rua, White claims he’s not sure yet, but adds, “as long as he stays active and healthy he’s nasty.” White also states his belief that Rua has now fully overcome his knee problem with his latest surgery.
– Nogueira’s win doesn’t seem to have entirely changed White’s opinion that the Brazilian legend should consider retiring. while he skirts around the issue somewhat, speaking generally he says that you can see when fighters are past their best and he doesn’t want to see anyone getting hurt unneccessarily.
– In reference to the bizarre moment when Rousimar Palhares celebrated a victory prematurely, White reveals that he went backstage afterwards and reminded him that he has to wait for the referee to stop the fight. Palhares apparently claimed that he heard Miller shouting, “stop, stop.”
– There’s no time scale for the UFC’s return to Brazil just yet, but White confirms they will definitely be coming back.