Following last night’s memorable UFC 166 event in Houston, UFC president Dana White spoke to the media about the big talking points emerging from the show.
Check out our keynotes below and scroll down to watch the full video for yourselves.
– White is interested to hear the media’s opinion on who won the Sarah Kaufman Vs Jessica Eye fight. He feels Eye definitely won the first, Kaufman the third, and the second could have gone either way. A few of the media thoughts Kaufman should have won, but it was Eye who claimed the split decision.
– He’d like to find a way to improve upon the UFC gloves so eyepokes like we saw last night don’t happen, but he says it’s very difficult to find a solution.
– He does think the referee was right to deduct a point from CB Dollaway for the two eye-pokes he landed.
– Melendez Vs Sanchez was one of the best fights White has ever seen. He marvels at how Sanchez seems to be “unstoppable” when he fights and got a kick out of seeing him put on such a great fight despite many people counting him out.
He chalks the fight down to the two men’s Mexican heritage, saying that it’s a time-honored tradition for Mexican’s to go to war like that.
That being said, he admits he does worry about both Sanchez and Junior Dos Santos who took a lot of punishment in their fights. In JDS’s case he feels that fight should have been stopped in the third round.
– Daniel Cormier was joking backstage that whatever happened his and Roy Nelson’s fight wasn’t going to look good due to how amazing the previous fight between Melendez and Sanchez had been.
– White feels that Cormier is absolutely ranked right up there near the top of the heavyweight division, but he’s not sure now that he’ll be moving to light-heavyweight, saying it’s always been one of the toughest weight-classes in the sport with a lot of good fighters, so it’s not going to be easy for him.
– When asked if Gustafsson could be a possible opponent for Daniel Cormier, he nods his head and says, “Maybe.”
– The Velasquez Vs Dos Santos trilogy was really good, but he’s not sure where it ranks in the all-time list.
– White’s not sure what happens next for JDS after “two vicious beatings” against Velasquez, though he does add that he always thought going into this fight that whoever lost would still be good enough to beat most of the other fighters in the division.
– He felt that JDS’ wrestling was improved in this fight compared to their last encounter, with better takedown defense.
– John Dodson would like to fight more often after having to spent a fair amount of time out despite being healthy. White says the real problem is that the UFC’s roster is just too full and so it’s difficult to give everyone the amount of fights they’d like.
– White states that he tries hard to like Roy Nelson, but feels that he’s “very delusional” and says a lot of “dumb sh*t”.
He points to the fact that even tonight after being comfortably beaten by Cormier with both punches and wrestling, Nelson was complaining that his opponent wasn’t engaging with him.
The UFC president feels that Nelson looks good fighting a certain level of opposition, but when he faces someone in the top 5 of the division he looks like he doesn’t belong in the top 10.
Despite his grievances he still praises Nelson for his toughness and the fact that he’s able to compete despite his physique.
– The UFC have produced a documentary to mark their 20th anniversary in November and he’s excited to see what people think about it. It’ll premiere to the press next week.
– Charles Barkeley was in attendance last night, and he loved the fights. White thinks that there won’t have been anybody in the building who didn’t feel the same way. He feels that you’re lucky if you get to see a couple of fights like Melendez Vs Sanchez live in your lifetime.
– He jokes that he was worried coming into this event that all the Mexican fans would be too broke to buy it after having recently bought the expensive Mayweather Vs Canello boxing PPV and more than likely bet on Canello to win too!
– White believes Cain Velasquez has “a hell of a chin”, noting how he got hurt with one of the first punches of the fight, yet went on to have a great performance.
– It seems he’s convinced that this was the best event in UFC history from start to finish, beating out the likes of UFC 100, etc.
He jokes that boh he and Joe Silva have a superstition that if the prelims are really good then it means you have to worry that the main card will be bad, and vice versa. On this occasion however, the fighters delivered all the way through the night.
– The reason that UFC 165 re-aired on FOX Sports 1 was that FS1 asked them to do it, so they made it happen. White says he had to ask for special permission from their PPV partners to do so though and that it’ll only be a one-off as the PPV guys aren’t too keen on the idea.
– He really believes that JDS’ corner should have thrown the towel in during the third round.
Having said that, he acknowledges that due to the unpredictable nature of MMA you never know what’s going to happen. he points to the fact that Diego Sanchez’s corner could have thrown in the towel too, yet he ended up almost winning the fight late in the third round.
– Dana was furious with one of the referee’s who let Shawn Jordan take several unneccessary punches before stopping his fight with Gonzaga. Same with the TJ Waldburger KO (Waldburger was taken out on a stretcher, but was later given the all-clear after a hospital check-up). It was the ref’s first UFC event and White doesn’t think he should have been there in the first place.
– Sanchez was asking Dana to give him and Melendez two more rounds despite the war they’d just been through.
– Gilbert Melendez is right back in the title pictuer after his remarkable performance and that could be bad news for former No.1 contender TJ Grant who had to pull out of two title fights due to a concussion injury and may now have to step back and take another fight first before getting a chance to compete for the belt.
– White was impressed with Aglan Amagov, calling him “one scary Russian.”
– There’s a fight in the elimination fights for the next season of TUF that ends with the scariest KO White has ever witnessed. He says the fighter in question took several blows after being stopped before the referee got in to end the contest.
– White won’t push for Cormier to fight his friend and training partner Cain Velasquez. If he was staying at heavyweight then he might have, but the fact that he made the decision to drop to 205lbs instead shows how serious he is about not fighting him.
– He was pleased that, while the women have always delivered in terms of entertainment so far in the UFC, Eye and Kaufman’s fight was also pretty technical too.
He says he’s glad that he decided to bring women into the UFC and he looks forward to seeing how the 135lb division evolves.
– White says he keeps hearing about former boxing champ and rising MMA star Holly Holm. He jokes that she’s like “the female Conor McGregor” because people keep talking to him about her. He admits he’s never seen her fight yet though.
– Apparently BJ Penn is already looking skinny on the set of TUF 19 suggesting his weight cut down to 145lbs is going well. White thinks this could be Penn’s last chance to prove himself, but says the former champion is full of self-belief.
– White jokes that it’s cool when John Dodson lands all his after-fight acrobatics, but not so much when he doesn’t. He’s not crazy about those kind of celebrations in general.
He’d like Dodson to tone down a lot of things such as, “dressing like a four year-old kid” but says the flyweight is an “off-the-wall, crazy kid” who’s going to do his own thing. He’s full of praise for the way he fights though and believes he’s one of the best athletes in the sport.
He gives credit to his opponent Darrell Montague’s chin too.
Like Velasquez and JDS in the heavyweight division, Dana thinks that ‘Mighty Mouse’ and Dodson are the two best at flyweight.
– Houston’s a good place for the UFC to do business – they hold three of the top five gate records in this arena ever alongside The Rolling stones and Madonna.
– White ends the interview saying that he’s about to go on a brutal UFC trip that’ll include Germany, the UK, Abu Dhabi and then the U.S east coast over the next couple of weeks.