Backstage after an eventful UFC 136 show Dana White took time out to speak with MMAfighting’s Ariel Helwani about the night’s big talking points.
See our keynotes from their conversation below and scroll down to watch the interview for yourselves.
– Dana White’s reaction to the first round of the main event between Edgar and Maynard was much the same as everyone else – “Wow! Here we go again…it was crazy.”
– White admits he’s not exactly sure why Maynard didn’t push the pace beyond round one as he says the challenger is a man of few words and it’s “like pulling teeth” trying to get an answer out of him. He says he’s assuming that the real reason that he was exhausted from his exertions in the opening spell.
He also praises Edgar from having “an incredible chin, an even more incredible heart and the kid is just tough to beat, man.”
– White scored the fight as even going into the fourth round and felt that one of the two men had to win the next two rounds or the bout was going to end in a draw again.
– White loves GSP and means no disrespect to him, but says that if you really look at what pound-for-pound status means then it’s impossible not to now rank Frankie Edgar at No.2 behind only Anderson Silva. “The guy weights 145lbs, he fights at 155lbs. He’s beat everybody and just knocked out Gray Maynard.”
– If White was running Edgar’s camp he’d have him drop down to 145lbs as even though he continues to win he often gets hurt fighting the bigger guys at 155lbs. It’s not his decision though and if Edgar chooses to stay at lightweight he won’t stand in his way.
– White sounds very frustrated with the Strikeforce situation – in fact he didn’t even want to talk about it. He did say that a decision on it’s future has been pushed back a week though.
– There’s also still no decision on whether Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez is going to come to the UFC. White says he’ll either come to the UFC or defend his title in Strikeforce come December.
– White believes Kenny Florian did well to go five rounds against Jose Aldo who generally destroys his opponents. He also praises him for what he’s accomplished in the sport since joining the UFC, both inside and outside of the Octagon. “I think he’s a great analyst and a great commentator, and I think he’s got a future with us in this sport whatever he wants to do.”
– It’s not confirmed yet whether Chad Mendez will be the next challenger for Jose Aldo or not.
– White was impressed by Chael Sonnen’s performance, noting that he’s a big believer in ring rust yet Sonnen showed none en-route to a dominant victory over Brian Stann. “he looked unbelievable from bell to finish. He looked so good.”
– White dismisses claims that Sonnen’s post-fight interview calling out Anderson Silva was too much like “WWE”, pointing out that every fighter’s personality is different and so you never know what they are going to say. One thing he does know for sure though: “You’re never going to see another Chael Sonnen,” he says. “He’s out there, man. I mean the stuff that this guy says…it’s crazy.”
– Asked if he would hold Sonnen to his claim that he’d leave the UFC if he loses to Silva again, White says he’ll have to wait and see.
He then goes on to add, “I don’t know if he hates Anderson as much as he says he does, but Anderson hates him, man. Anderson Silva hates this guy. Hates him with a passion and [Sonnen] just keeps talking more and more, and…it’s going to be interesting.”
– Will Silva Vs Sonnen 2 be next then? “It would be pretty stupid not to do it, but we’ll see what happens,” he replies.
– White claims the idea of putting on that fight on Superbowl weekend is entirely Sonnen’s idea, but it doesn’t sound like a bad idea. A lot may depend on if Silva’s current shoulder injury heals up by then.
– White states that “Melvin Guillard is his own worst enemy. He came in there tonight jumping up and down like he’d already won the fight. It was like he was on his way out instead of on his way in.”
He doesn’t want to take anything away from Joe Lauzon though, and was impressed that not only did he submit Guillard, but he also rocked the talented striker in the stand-up exchanges first.
– Rashad Evans won’t have to fight again before facing the winner of Jon Jones Vs Lyoto Machida, “but he probably will.” He claims Evans already told him if that things didn’t line up properly with the title fight that he wanted to fight against someone else instead.