Following a very entertaining show at UFC 144 in Japan, UFC president Dana White spoke to Ariel Helwani about the nights big talking points.
Check out the keynotes from their conversation below and scoll down to watch the full video for yourselves courtesy of MMafighting.com.
– White scored the main event neck and neck going into the last round and believed Frankie Edgar won the last round and therefore should have won the fight.
He felt that it was “crazy” that two judges saw it 4-1 in Ben Henderson’s favor, but he admits he told people on Twitter to get ready for a controversial decision whichever way it went.
– While White could understand how there would be debate about who won Edgar Vs Henderson, he felt that Takeya Mizugaki not being awarded a win earlier in the evening was “an outright robbery” and as such he will pay him his win bonus even in defeat.
– Despite believing that Edgar won the fight the UFC president isn’t pursuing an immediate rematch with Henderson, but instead would love to see him move down to the featherweight division where he thinks he belongs.
Edgar is somewhat resistant to that move however and White can understand that given how dominant he’s been at lightweight over the years. He compares it to Anderson Silva refusing to go up to light-heavyweight.
– White isn’t willing to confirm yet that Henderson Vs Antony Pettis will be the next title fight they make at 155lbs noting that they have a lot of different options in that division and the Nate Diaz Vs Jim Miller winner could also be in the running.
– Dana was disappointed with ‘Rampage’ Jackson’s performance and admits he’s been questioning whether the former champion really wants to do this anymore since he signed up to do the A-Team movie.
He reveals that Rampage did briefly speak to him after the fight and told him that he was sorry and that he wanted to fight again and would do better next time.
– White describes Mark Hunt’s three fight winning streak as “amazing” and says he has nothing but respect for the Samoan. He goes on to say that the UFC were willing to honor the remaining fights of his PRIDE contract by letting him fight in the Octagon, but at the same time they told him they’d happily just pay him the money he was due to just go away since he had more losses than wins on his record. He refused and said he wanted to fight and White respects that and was impressed that he’s now managed to earn himself another contract with them thanks to his wins.
– White didn’t know what to expect from the Japanese crowd, but points out that UFC events are a lot different from PRIDE ones and so he wasn’t as suprised as the Japanese media at how vocal they turned out to be.
To sum he says it was a great event and he notes that as he was leaving the arena the fans were all screaming for him to bring the UFC back to Japan again.