Following yesterday’s UFC 160 open workouts Dana White spoke to the media about some of the big talking points leading into Saturday night’s event.
Check out our keynotes from their conversation below and scroll down to watch the full video for yourselves.
– White’s been critical of Vitor Belfort’s TRT use in the past, but he steps to his defense a little here, pointing out that what he’s doing is legal and that he’s been fully tested to make sure that’s the case.
He reiterates that he personally is not a fan of TRT though. He also goes on to mention marijuana, and while he’s not convinced it should be on the banned list, he says it doesn’t matter – it’s currently considered illegal and that’s all that counts.
– White feels that issuing fines has a bigger impact on a fighter than just asking them to apologize for inappropriate comments, etc and is more likely to deter them from doing it again.
– Dana confirms that Anderson Silva has officially been signed to a new 10-fight contract.
– Regarding John Cholish’s recent criticism of UFC fighter pay, White says that everyone has to start at the bottom and work there way up and the reality is that some people won’t be could enough to make it in the promotion and reap the rewards. He also adds that Cholish was paid discretionary bonuses even when he lost.
– Dana White isn’t going to take any action over Cat Zingano’s claim that Bryan Caraway allegedly may have elbowed her in the head backstage as he was walking by her at the TUF 17 finale weigh-ins.
– Regarding fights for the UFC On FOX Sports 1 event, White says he’s waiting on the results of this weekends fights first and then will make an announcement next week. He claims to have at least four options for potential fights he could make (presumably for the headliner).
– White is ‘pumped’ for the launch of FS1 and by the sounds of things they will be doing some exciting promotional stuff in the build-up to it – perhaps involving some NFL games that are also going on during that weekend.
– White’s not sure what’s going to happen with the bantamweight divisiow now that interim champ Renan Barao is out injured. He’s apparently got ligament damage so there’s not a firm timetable on when he’ll be back in action at the moment.
– Dana confirms that Bruce Buffer’s story about fighting with Frank Trigg in an elevator is a true story as he was there when it happened. He says Buffer interrupted a conversation between Trigg and himself which lead to the former UFC fighter karate chopping the UFC’s Octagon Announcer in the throat. According to Dana they then traded blows for about 10 floors until the doors opened.
– Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza Vs Yushin Okami is the fight the UFC are trying to put together next.
– He continues to give Mark Hunt props for refusing the UFC’s offer to pay him off when his contract was bought up by the promotion years ago. Instead he insisted that he wanted to fight and has since gone on to have a wholly unexpected return to success.
– The UFC are looking at new glove prototypes with a more curved design at the fingers which they hope will lessen the chances of eyepokes occuring. Nothing’s finalized though.
– Dana expects to have an event in Ireland within the next year.
– He’s a fan of Conor McGregor and says he will be on the UFC On FS 1 card, but they are not looking to throw him in with the top contenders in the featherweight division just yet.
– “Welcome to the losing money business,” White says of Nick Diaz’s decision to start a new MMA promotion called ‘WAR’.
There’s been talk of a rematch between Diaz and Carlos Condit which White would be happy to make, but as far as he is aware Diaz is currently retired.
– Jacob Volkmann has been critical of the UFC’s insurance policy this week. White calls him “a moron” and points out that no promotion in the history of the sport has ever even attempted to give fighters insurance like this.
– The reason Roy Nelson is fighting against Stipe Moicic at fairly short notice on the UFC 161 card is that time is running out on his current contract and they still owe him a fight on it. They have offered Nelson a new contract, but he’s not signed it yet.
White had a bigger fight for him in mind, but the fact he’s stalling on a new contract has forced their hand.
– White’s a big Matt Serra fan and was a little surprised that he announced his retirement in a newspaper as the UFC would have flown him out to Las Vegas and made more of a show of it.
– Dan Hardy has finally agreed to the UFC’s offer to get a second opinion on his heart condition so they are just waiting to see how that goes.
– He’s looking forward to the new season of TUF which begins filming soon. He thinks Ronda Rousey and Cat Zingano will have a relationship kind of like Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen – competitive, but nothing crazy. With women living and fighting on the show this time out though he admits that it’s going to be “interesting” to see what happens.
– There’s no timetable for Jon Jones return after the toe injury he suffered at UFC 159. His toe is better now, but there was ligament damage and it could take six weeks or six months to heal. He gets another MRI done on Monday.
– White says that there’s already a lot of cool stuff in the new EA Sports game even though it’s nowhere near being completed yet. He says EA are treating it as one of their major titles, particularly as MMA has such a global appeal when compared to something like Madden’s NFL.
– The UFC has a new TV deal in mexico with Telavisa which White is happy about though he’s unsure if it’s a long-term one or not. They will air this weekend’s event though.
– Regarding the UFC’s recent deal with BT Sport – White indicates that it’s still a tough market to get a foothold in and Sky Sports essentially hold a monopoly in the region. According to him the guy running that company just doesn’t like the sport which is why they’ve been unable to make a deal with them.
He says this new deal is better than their old one with ESPN, but by the sounds of things it’s not really what he’d been hoping for.