Dana White held his customary UFC 171 pre-fight media scrum yesterday and you can read the keynotes from his conversation below, or scroll down to watch the video for yourselves.
– White thinks that Robbie Lawler has matured a lot over the years and wants the title bad, as does Hendricks who he enjoys watching fight too. He thinks it’s a great stylistic match-up.
– With a number of top welterweight fighting on this card, there’s no guarantee that the winner of Condit Vs Woodley gets the next title shot – whoever performs best could get that opportunity.
– He doesn’t think that GSP left because of TRT or that the fact it’s now been banned will encourage him to come back. he insists that it’s undisclosed personal problems that resulted in GSP’s extended leave.
He claims he knows for a fact that GSP will return to the UFC.
– White is really excited about the Mexico market and says they are finally ready to break through there.
– While Jake Shields doesn’t have the greatest stand-up in the world, White points out that more often than not he ends up beating dangerous strikers.
– White likes everything about Johny Hendricks apart from his beard!
– Whether Hendricks Vs Lawler goes one round or five he’s anticipating an exciting fight. He doesn’t forsee it being a wrestling match-up.
– It’s possible that Diego Sanchez could change his style and be more defensive and technical, but White describes him as a ‘War Horse’ and thinks that’s just a natural part of him.
– White shoots down Joe Rogan’s recent comments about there being a huge announcement coming regarding Ronda Rousey’s next opponent. White says Rogan has since apologized to him and that there’s “Nothing there.”
– There’s no chance of a catchweight fight between Ronda Rousey and Cris ‘Cyborg’. If and when it happens it would have to be at 135lbs.
– He says he’ll meet with woman’s boxing sensation turned MMA fighter Holly Holm this week.
– As far as he knows Cain Velasquez will be ready to train in the summer and could be on schedule to fight in November. Once he’s ready they’ll get him a headlining fight in Mexico City.
– The fight between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva is not signed yet.
– White is relieved that TRT exemptions are now banned, saying it’s a monkey off his back. He says it only affects five fighters currently under UFC contract anyway, so it’s not that big of a deal to them. He jokes that journalists were loving writing about that side of things and will now be looking for something else to complain about.
– There’s likely to be two events in two days in July.
– He says they are finally doing things the right way in Europe, giving them their own localized fight cards during primetime. He says live televised fights like this are how they managed to make a breakthrough in other markets like the U.S, Canada and Brazil, and that’s how it’ll work for Europe too.
The catch is that it does mean there may be two events in different regions of the world either on the same day or the next day at times.
– He admits maybe there could be too much UFC for U.S fans to keep up with, but that’s not the same for people elsewhere in the world. He suggests people pick and choose what they watch if they feel there’s too much.
– White claims that the UFC Fight Pass service is “kicking ass” and is a “massive home run” for them. He notes that it’s especially good for international markets that are hungry for as much content as they can get their hands on. He describes Fight Pass as “the future.”
– It cost the UFC about $1.2 million to put on an event, though it does vary depending on things like travel, etc.
– He’s shocked by the latest legal issues surrounding Floyd Mayweather Jr, calling it “crazy” and if it’s true he thinks he’s going to be in a lot of trouble given his previous brushes with the law.
– The plan for Mexico is to eventually be doing as many events as they are doing in Brazil.
– DMX wants to walk Anderson Silva into the Octagon, and surprisingly White is all for that, especially since Silva does already walk in to one of his songs.
– White knows the results of a recent testosterone test from Vitor Belfort that was taken before the recent ban. Belfort’s camp haven’t released the results of that and don’t intend to do so which has frustrated many people. White says he knows the results, but he won’t disclose them. He claims he doesn’t understand the results anyway, and he says that’s another good reason why it’s just best that TRT is banned altogether.
– He’s not sure whether the likes of Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort will be able to continue their careers without TRT.
– Going back to the Sonnen Vs Wanderlei Silva fight, it’s not signed, but he does expect it to go down eventually. Something happened on the TUF Brazil show that’s making it problematic to make the fight at the moment, but White won’t say what it is.
– White admits that TUF: China was tough due to reported behind-the-scenes issues with inexperienced production crew, etc according to Cung Le, but the UFC boss doesn’t want to talk about it. The main thing is that they got the show done in the end, and they are committed to the Chinese market.
– The new season of TUF Brazil is doing well, already pulling in 12 million viewers in that region.