UFC president Dana White sat down with ESPN yesterday to talk about the big talking points in the build-up to UFC 148: Silva Vs Sonnen II and you can watch it below.
Alternatively, read on to see our keynotes from their conversation.
– According to the UFC’s own trending data Silva Vs Sonnen II is shaping up to be a very big event for the UFC.
White also notes that UFC 148 is set to produce the biggest gate ever in the U.S for the company at around $7 million.
– Despite Chael Sonnen’s renowned abilities to hype a fight with his trash-talking ways, White points out that it’s his last performance in the cage against Anderson Silva that’s the real driving force behind people clamouring to see this fight.
– Responding to the suggestion that Tito Ortiz’s record of 16-10 makes him unworthy of a place in the ‘Hall Of Fame’, White says defeats are inevitable in a sport with so many ways to win or lose, and beyond that the storylines generated by the fighter over the years also make him worthy of a place in it.
– White doesn’t see any problem with his own outspoken personality despite being the head of the UFC, and while he admits to stepping over the line occasionally he feels that generally all he is is honest and he has no plans to change.
– Asked to comment on boxing fans potentially switching to MMA in disgust after the highly controversial Pacquiao Vs Bradley decision, White seems to have some sympathy for the sport of boxing. He says the UFC has to battle with poor decisions too and blames it on the athletic commissions for having poor and underqualified referees and judges overseeing the shows.
– White pinpoints the UFC signing it’s current TV deal with FOX as the turning point that has helped them become mainstream.
– The UFC president admits a big part of him allowing Brock Lesnar into the UFC was because he knew he was giong to be a big draw for the company.
– Dana feels it’s a good thing that the exact amount that UFC fighters make isn’t publicly known. He points out that he doesn’t gag his fighters so they could reveal what they earn if they wanted to. He says it can create a lot of negativity and problems if people start to realize just how much a fighter makes, and points to what happened with Mike Tyson as an example.
– He says he would make using Testosterone Replacement Therapy illegal if it was up to him.
– White laughs off the idea that he has too prominent a role in the sport, and says it would make no sense for him to “hide under a rock” during fight week. “I sell the fights, that’s what I do for a living!”