Following yesterday’s UFC 158 press conference to officially announced the event featuring GSP Vs Nick Diaz, Dana White sat down to talk to the media about the biggest talking points in the sport.
Read keynotes from the media scrum below and scroll down to watch the full video for yourselves courtesy of TheFightNetwork.
– White suggests that Rory MacDonald won’t be able to reap the full rewards from his career and attain the level of success as GSP unless he’s willing to fight the champion.
– He says the TUF 17 premiere is getting “rave reviews” and adds that “I already know it’s going to be a great season.”
– White attempts to skirt around recent reports of Fuel TV being rebranded as ‘FOX Sports 2’ by saying, “that’s not neccessarily true”, but soon after appears to confirm that FS1 and FS2 are in the works. He says he’s impressed with how much FOX have planned out and believes there’s “nothing but good things” ahead for the UFC on the network.
– The UFC are working hard to get MMA legalized in France so they can take the promotion there.
– Regarding ‘Rampage’ Jackson, White feels they’ve done everything they can for him both professionally and personally, but if he’s not happy then he’s ok with him going elsewhere.
– Rampage isn’t able to wear his new sponsor Reebok into the cage on Saturday night because the UFC have to come to a financial agreement with the sponsor first just like they do for every other sponsor and so far they’ve not come to terms with Reebok. He notes that this is the same in all the major sporting leagues around.
– White stresses that he doesn’t have any beef with Rampage, but admits that the big problem is that you never know where you stand with the fighter.
– He loves the new format for TUF and says it was cool to have the fighters families and friends cheering them on during the elimination show.
– Ronda Rousey tweeted a conspiracy video regarding the Sandy Hook tragedy last week which caused a backlash against her, but White feels that she’s entitled to her opinion, and in reality she didn’t do much other than post up the link and say ‘look at this story’. He thinks anyone who’s bothered by it needs to get a life.
– White states that Nick Diaz isn’t the toughest guy in the UFC to deal with on a one-to-one basis. He also says that GSP Vs Diaz was an easy fight to put together as both fighters wanted it.
– He doesn’t feel there’s much more they can do about fighters who take steroids, marijuana or other illegal substances. He admits if it happened to one of his champions it would be “brutal” and that he’d “want to jump off a bridge.”
That being said he’s not spoken to Nick Diaz about his marijuana use, saying that he’s not his father and that he’s got too many fighters under contract to keep tabs on them all.
– Anderson Silva wants to fight in the Spring and the UFC are currently trying to figure out who his opponent will be.
– White believes that Dan Henderson could be ahead of Daniel Cormier in the pecking order to fight Jon Jones for the title.
– White says he thought it was “weird” that Vitor Belfort stated he wanted to fight Jon Jones again after his win on Saturday night and “not what I was expecting.”
Belfort could get another shot at Anderson Silva in the future, but he’d have to beat a couple of big name fighters first.
– White claims he never said that Silva had actually signed a 10-fight deal, just that he had asked for it. It’s still not a done deal at this stage.
– Strikeforce fighters who are coming over to the UFC now won’t have to sign a new deal, they’ll just continue with their existing deals.
– While he doesn’t appear particularly comfortable about it White says that Josh Barnett returning to the UFC is “probably going to happen.”
– White has nothing personal against referee Dan Miragliotta who says is “a nice guy”, but he felt he had some “horrible calls” on Saturday night.
– Pedro Nobre caused a lot of controversy on Saturday night when his fight was declared a no-contest due to strikes to the back of the head even although replays appeared to show that they were legal blows. Nobre was accused afterwards of exploiting the situation and White is firmly in that camp, stating that he’s “a fantastic actor” and indicated that it’s unlikely we’ll ever see the fighter in the UFC again.
– Regarding Nate Marquardt’s recent defeat at Strikeforce’s final show, White felt he should have checked the leg kicks, but praised Tarec Saffiedine who he thought “looked phenomenal” and he’s excited to have him in the UFC.