Check out Dana White’s UFC 165 pre-fight scrum and read our keynotes from the conversation.
– Controversy regarding the judging at last weekends huge boxing event in Nevada has left Dana White hopeful that things are finally going to change with regards to officiating for the better in combat sports.
– Dana describes the Mayweather Vs Alvarez boxing event as ‘the perfect storm’, and that’s certainly reflected by the fact that it’s believed to have done over 2 million PPV buys. He’s not sure whether the fact that so many people spent $75 on that PPV will effect the buy rate for his own event this weekend, but admits that it could have an impact as not everyone can afford to spend lots of money on events like this every month.
He says they had some discussion as to whether to put their own show before or after that event, but opted for the latter since if they’d picked the week before then they’d have been completely overshadowed by the boxing fight’s hype and marketing.
– He likens TJ Grant’s bad luck missing out on a couple of title fight opportunities due to injuries to that of Anthony Pettis who found himself in a similar position over the past couple of years, but eventually got his chance and is now the champion. He also cites Carlos Condit and even Chuck Liddell as others who’ve been in this situation.
– The reason Josh Thomson has been given the title shot so quickly is simply because the other top ranked fighters in the division have only recently had unsuccessful title attempts.
– The UFC are planning to come to Poland, but he’s unsure if it’ll be in 2014 or not.
– If Gustafsson wins then White believes “we would have to” do his next title fight in Sweden.
– White hopes Dominick Cruz will be back at the start of next year, but if not it’s likely he’ll be stripped of his bantamweight title.
– He’s keen to stress that it’s only a handful of guys in boxing who are making huge money.
– Dana offers some rare praise to Showtime for the way they promoted the boxing PPV. He says he even had a cordial conversation with some of their executives at the event.
– He still doesn’t see how Bellator can hope to do well with a PPV event when they can’t draw fans on free TV for their events. He thinks they’ve got desperate now which is why they are signing up old UFC fighters.
– TUF China is happening and Cung Le will step into Dana White’s role on the show as something of a mentor. TUF Mexico is also in the works.
– White thinks Chael Sonnen has a huge future as a sports commentator and analyst, but he needs to cut out the controversial jokes like the one about Rihianna on FOX Sports 1 that caused a backlash earlier this week.
– It was BJ Penn’s idea to cut down to 145lbs to fight Frankie Edgar, and White is hoping to pair him up with weight cut expert Mike Dolce to ensure it goes smoothly.
White jokes that Penn is, “nutty as hell, but I love.”
– The UFC gym business is proving to be very popular and they are planning to have more fighters have their own gym.
– According to Dana nobody’s in the UFC has been as famous as Chuck Liddell in his heyday, saying that nobody today can compete with the reaction he used to get from fans and from the ladies too!
– Fighters are allowed to bet on themselves, but can’t bet against themselves.
– White believes that women fighters take criticism harder than men and are more emotional, but he gives credit to Ronda Rousey for being able to keep her head together despite the negativity that’s surrounded the way she’s come across on TUF so far.
He says Rousey has been enjoying taking a break to act in ‘The Expendables 3’ as there’s been a lot of pressure on her lately and he admits that they’ve been working her really hard over the past year with lots of media, etc.
– White strongly believes Alistair Overeem Vs Frank Mir is a must-win fight for both men.
– He’s happy that after a long-winning streak Matt Brown is finally getting the big fight he deserves against one of the division’s top ranked fighters, Carlos Condit.
– White claims he’s not ‘black-balled’ a journalist in a long time, naming only Josh Gross and Loretta Hunt as writers he won’t credential to do their past disagreements.
– He’s not enthused by the idea of releasing the UFC’s events from the early days of the sport, believing that there’s not enough people who want to see that.
– Dana would like to see Rich Franklin to retire, but apparently he wants one more fight. Franklin is currently working on a juice bar business and White hopes it becomes really successful and he doesn’t need to fight again.
– Chris Leben Vs Uriah Hall is another fight which he thinks both men badly need to win.
– Continuing with that theme, he does think that the Frankie Edgar fight will be BJ Penn’s last chance to prove himself.