Following last night’s UFC 148 event and post-fight press conference in Las Vegas Dana White stayed back to talk to the assembled media about a number of the night’s big talking points and more.
Check out our keynotes from the conversation below and scroll down to watch the full media scrum for yourselves courtesy of MMAHeat.
– Reflecting on another legend of the UFC in Tito Ortiz retiring, White is philosphical about it, stating that, “It’s a young man’s game.”
– Dana is convinced that it was Chael Sonnen’s performance in the first fight that helped generate the massive interest in last night’s rematch. He points out that Sonnen said funnier / crazier stuff leaading up to their first fight so on this occasion it wasn’t his trash-talking pre-fight that made the difference.
He admits that it doesn’t hurt to have him doing his thing in the media though, and laughs at the fact that ESPN seem to absolutely love him as he was all over their shows in the build-up to the fight.
– If Sonnen had won last night White said it would have been like he won the lottery and he’d have made a huge amount of money. He also believes that a third fight between him and Silva would have happened.
Instead Silva won and like everyone else, White wonders who can challenge him now. He thinks somebody will though, noting that Sonnen came out of nowhere, and suggests that perhaps someone like Hector Lombard who’s just arrived in the UFC can mount a serious challenge.
– White confesses he’s wondered himself when Silva was suddenly going to turn up “looking old.” He didn’t think it would be last night though, and in the end he says Silva looked anything but old with the way he dealt with Sonnen.
– White isn’t dishearted by the fact that they couldn’t pull off this fight in a soccer stadium in Brazil and is still aiming to do that for one of Silva’s fight in the future.
On a related note, White reveals that on the night that they had planned to hold the event in the open-air stadium it actually tuned out to be raining heavily in Brazil which could have been a complete disaster for them if the show had gone ahead as was originally planned.
– Dana admits he gets terrified about a bad referee (he names Steve Mazagatti) getting a big fight like Silva Vs Sonnen. He says Herb Dean is his favorite ref, but he credits Yves Lavign for doing a good job in officiating the main event and not wrongly deeming Silva’s knee strike to be illegal.
– Dana was also scared of a real bad judging decision happening like what happened in the boxing bout between Pacquiao and Bradley recently. He says that was the worst decision he’s seen as absolutely no one seemed to think that Bradley had won other than the judges.
He admits that the UFC has had a number of bad judging calls itself, but the difference was that the Pacquiao fight was huge for the boxing world, and he says that the UFC equivalent of that was Silva vs Sonnen II so a bad decision here would have had a big negative impact for them too.
– White was worried on seeing Silva’s knee strike that it had been an illegal blow to the head of a downed opponent, but was able to get clarification quickly that it was in fact to the chest. He says even if it had hit Sonnen’s head that the fighter wouldn’t have made a big deal out of it and would have kept fighting.
In general he has a lot of respect for the way Sonnen doesn’t make excuses after the fight.
– White admits it is a possibility that Hector Lombard could be next to fight Silva, but it appears as if a lot would depend on how he performs in his debut against Tim Boetsch in August. He doesn’t rule out the possibility of Michael Bisping having a chance either, saying he doesn’t get enough respect for how good he is, while he also throws in Mark Munoz name in as well, noting that he has the wrestling ability and devastating ground and pound.
White says that Bisping actually spoke to him after the fight and was campaigning for the chance to fight Silva next.
– White jokes that he’s about to turn 43, but he feels like he’s 143. He says he struggles to work out anymore and his continued battle with meniere’s disease is dragging him down.
– The TUF coaches for the next season of the show on FX are already locked in, and White’s glad to see that no-one’s figured out who it is yet. he’ll announce who they are soon.
– Dana confirms that Junior Dos Santos won’t be fighting on the UFC’s debut in China as that’s just a Fuel TV event.
– in Brazil the event was available to watch on subscription TV live and then 15 minutes after it finished it was on free TV.
– Dana is still a little annoyed with the fact that many of the fighters on the TUF: Brazil show seemed to have let the new-found fame that he were receiving in their own country go to their heads. He says they should have been more focused and realizing that they were potentially only one fight away from being back out of the UFC. He was so annoyed about it that he didn’t do any post-fight press in Brazil.
– The TUF coaches for the UK Vs Australia season will be announced this week as Dana is flying to Oz to begin filming on Wednesday.
– White appears to have patched up his differences with Alistair Overeem after the fighter visited him in Las Vegas earlier this week. he liked what he had to stay and is now calling him, “a stud” for admitting that he had made a mistake and making amends for it in the right way.