Following last night’s UFC 156 event in Las Vegas, UFC President Dana White sat down with the media to talk about the evening’s big talking points and more.
Read our key notes from the conversation below and scroll down to watch the video for yourselves.
– White feels it was a bad night for the ‘Blackzilians’ fight team with the likes of Rashad Evans and Alistair Overeem producing poor performance and looking out-of-shape.
– He was delighted to see the reaction of the incoming Strikeforce fighters who won tonight, taking pleasure in seeing how happy they were backstage afterwards.
– White singles out former Strikeforce fighter Bobby Green for special praise, believing that his victory over Bobby Volkmann was his personal ‘Fight Of The Night’.
– Anthony Pettis is willing to step down to 145lbs to fight Jose Aldo for the title and White likes the sound of that. He also thinks other featherweight top contenders Ricardo Lamas and ‘The Korean Zombie’ could fight each other next as well.
– White now appears to be leaning towards an Anderson Silva Vs Chris Weidman fight. He doesn’t expect it to happen in the near future though as Weidman needs a few months to bounce back from an injury.
He says Weidman is very confident about beating Silva and told him he’d beat the champion in Brazil and then beat him again in a rematch at MSG in New York if given the chance.
– Signing talks with Josh Barnett appear to be going ok, but there’s no chance he could walk straight into a title fight in the heavyweight division.
– White claims he’d be “shocked” if Daniel Cormier called out Cain Velasquez if he beats Frank Mir next, saying he would expect him to announce a move to 205lbs instead.
– White’s playing it coy when it comes to talking about the UFC’s next event, UFC 157 which will feature Ronda Rousey’s debut, but there’s a sense that he’s confident it’s going to do a lot better than some people think it will.
– Dana feels that Rashad Evans has lost his hunger to compete and he needs to get it back.
– He’s not sure when the next Brazilian event will be, but he jokes that UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta is practically going to be living down there as they’ve got a lot of work to do in the region.
– White reveals they’ve recently done a scouting trip to Mexico which went very well. A reporter asks if Mexico can be the next Brazil in terms of talent / popularity. White says Brazil is ‘crazy’ and that he wants the U.S to be the next Brazil! He says he’s always believed Mexico can be a good market for them though.
– It’s fair to say Randy Couture isn’t in White’s good books at the moment after signing a TV deal with Spike that’ll see him coach a reality show for Bellator amongst other things. White says that the only time Couture is a man is when he’s in the cage.
One of the things that appears to be bothering White is that he claims Couture practically begged him for a TV job which he granted to him with the role as an analyst on FOX, only for his lawyer to then contact them at Christmas to cancel a scheduled TV appearance. Suspicious of this White asked around and found out that Couture was in talks with Spike. White gave Couture’s lawyer a piece of his mind on the phone and then tried contacting Couture, but the hall-of-famer wouldn’t return his calls at first.
Later Couture contacted him by text and assured him that he hadn’t signed a deal with Bellator and told him not to worry. White says Couture hasn’t been in touch since.
He further claims that many other people don’t like doing business with Couture and that there’s “a lot of stuff out there that you guys don’t even know” about the hall-of-famer.
– Also on that situation, Couture’s son Ryan Couture is one of the fighters who’s coming over from Strikeforce. White phoned him just a couple of days ago and told him that despite his relationship with his father being in ruins in that it was up to him whether he wanted to fight in the UFC or not.
Despite White telling him that his father was no longer welcome in the UFC, even as a cornerman, the younger Couture told him that it was still his dream to fight in the UFC and that he wanted to stay with the organization. White replied that he was happy to have him and assured him that he wouldn’t be treated any differently from anyone else.
– White still hasn’t spoken to Stephan Bonnar yet after falling out with him over his recent steroid suspension, but he still says that he loves him and he and Forrest Griffin are like his kids.
– A fighter did fail a drugs test following ‘UFC On FX 7’ and news of who it was will come out on Monday, but it was NOT Vitor Belfort as has been heavily rumored in recent days.
– White takes a verbal jab at Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney who said earlier this week that UFC 156 wouldn’t even do 200,000 buys on PPV. According to White the early trending data suggests it’s actually done well. He says Rebney should just worry about his own show rather than talking about something he knows nothing about.
– White jokes that he’s in a terrible mood due to the medications he’s on following his recent ear surgery. On a more serious note he reveals that he’s actually getting attacks from his Meniere’s Disease every day so he needs to take the meds in order to combat that. He hopes he can get off them soon though so that he can get back to normal. Whatever happens it’s not going to take him away from his busy schedule though including trips to London and New York.
– He doesn’t know when the UFC is going back to Calgary, but he definitely wants to go back their and put on a much better show than they got last time.
– BJ Penn is someone White would like to see retire. If he does he doesn’t think he’ll get a Matt Hughes / Chuck Liddell type role with the UFC as he’s busy with his UFC branded gym.
– Retirement doesn’t appear to be on the cards for Rich Franklin just yet though as far as Dana is aware.