After a thrilling night of fight’s a happy Dana White took time out to speak with Ariel Helwani about the big talking points emerging from UFC 139.
See the keynotes below and scroll down to wach the full interview courtesy of MMAfighting.
– Hendo Vs Shogun could have been the best fight in MMA history according to White, and at least in the top 3. He told them backstage it was “the best fight I’ve ever seen.”
– White is full of praise for both fighters, but in particular Henderson who he says is “an amazing human being” and “one of the toughest guys I’ve ever met.”
– Dana isn’t just high on the headliner, he praises the whole fight card for delivering.
– Despite Henderson’s performance Rashad Evans remains the No.1 contender at 205lbs. A Hendo Vs Evans eliminator is unlikely as White believes it’ll take Henderson quite a long time to recover from this fight.
Rampage Vs Shogun is a fight Dana would like to put on in Japan, but again it depends on how long it takes the Brazilian to recover from this war.
– White is adamant that this battle wouldn’t have been a good fight to kick of their FOX debut with as the sport’s too new in the mainstream arena at this moment in time. He says they have to ease in gently to their network TV deal and educate people gradually as to what the sport is all about. He hints that they also get a lot of pressure behind the scenes from people who stilll try to get the sport banned.
He says they will win the battle in the long run, but they have to do it the right way.
– The UFC president describes Le and Silva as two of the nicest people in the sport and thought their fight was “awesome.”
– Dana puts some of the San Jose fans on blast for boo’ing during some of the fights. “I thought the fans were educated up here.”
– He’s not convinced that Le will fight again, suggesting that fulfilling his dream of fighting in the UFC may have been enough for the 39 year-old. He gives full credit to the fighter’s accomplishments in martial arts though, having excelled in competition in multiple disciplines over the years and then having a successful MMA career.
– Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz as coaches on the first live TUF show on FX is “not a bad idea” White states with a grin.
– White doesn’t buy into the idea that lighter fighters can’t headline cards, etc, pointing out that people said that when BJ Penn and Jens Pulver fought many years ago, but then Penn turned out to be a huge star.
– FOX will be told who will be headlining ‘UFC On FOX 2’ on Monday and White will let everyone else know after that.
– Referring to boxing promoter Bob Arum’s comments that the UFC’s debut on FOX “got buried” by the boxing PPV featuring Manny Pacquiao, White says that’s just more evidence that Arum is “an absolute buffoon.”
“Look at the numbers, how did we get buried?” White is hearing that the Boxing show did around 1.3-1.4 million PPV buys and he believes that shows it was “a great night for combat sports in general.”