Dana White held his customary pre-fight media scrum yesterday in Chicago ahead of tomorrow night’s ‘UFC On FOX 10’ event and you can read full keynotes from his conversation below, plus scroll down to watch the full video for yourselves.
– White says Chicago is a great market for the UFC and there’s no big reason why they generally hold FOX shows here as opposed to PPV events.
– With filming now underway on the latest edition of TUF: Brazil, White says that so far it’s been “what you would expect” given that the coaches, Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva, don’t like each other.
As for when the two men will coach, White says they haven’t figured that out yet.
– White hasn’t spoken to GSP yet, but still feels his recent comments were “ridiculous”. He’s going to give the fighter the time away that he wanted without bothering him, though he’s suprised that the former champ has been taking more interviews now than when he was promoting a fight.
– Reflecting on the news that Anderson Silva is targeting a boxing fight with Roy Jones Jr again, White admits that the Brazilian superstar drives him crazy at times, but points out that he’s still a long way from even throwing a puunch or kick again, so he’s going to wait it out and see how he recovers before tackling the issue.
– Last week Dana appeared unconcerned about a rumor that the Superbowl next weekend might be moved to Saturday to try to avoid the bad weather that’s apparently incoming to the region, but it seems he’s now up to speed on the situation and admits that if it happened it’d be a huge blow for the UFC’s own PPV event that evening.
“Let’s just hope that doesn’t happen. I’ll move my fight ’til Monday” he jokes.
– White’s full of praise for Urijah Faber’s four-fight winning streak last year and is a big believer that fighters staying active is a good thing.
He says he wishes everyone could have heard the conversation he had with Faber asking him to take the Renan Barao fight at short notice as it would have won him a lot of fans due to the enthusiastic, positive way in which he accepted it.
– The UFC president isn’t surprised that fighters like Anderson Silva, GSP, Jon Jones and Ben Henderson have either lost or come close to losing over the past year, stating that this is what makes the sport so exciting – that anything can happen.
– Michael Bisping is doing well and should be back in the Octagon soon, but he doesn’t have the results from his most recent eye examination yet.
– White is glad that Ricardo Lamas will get his chance to fight for the featherweight title next Saturday night after calling for it for a while. He thinks Jose Aldo is very well rounded and hard to beat, but his achilles heel could be the fact that he tends to fade in the later rounds, and he thinks that’s what Lamas should be trying to exploit.
– If Josh Thomson wins on Saturday night he’ll get the next lightweight title shot. If Ben Henderson wins then it’s likely Gilbert Melendez will get the opportunity instead since Henderson lost to Anthony Pettis recently.
– The UFC are currently re-upping a lot of fighter’s contracts including Traavis Browne, Dan Henderson and Tim Kennedy, with Gilbert Melendez next.
– The UFC Fight Pass service has exceeded their expectations so far in terms of the number of people signing up for it (currently on a free trial, though you have to give your credit card details).
He says with a smile that the service is going to be completely different than what people are expecting over the next 6-8 months. They won’t air live PPV events on it though.
– They are still working on a date for Chris Weidman Vs Vitor Belfort, but it’ll either be July 4th weekend or Memorial Day weekend in May. With Belfort stating that he will apply for TRT exemption in Nevada, White says he doesn’t have a contingency plan in place if that doesn’t get approved.
Despite concerns about Wiedman’s knees, it turns out everything’s ok so that won’t have an affect on when the fight takes place.
– Coming off two huge wins over Anderson Silva, White thinks that interest levels will be very high for Wiemdna’s next fight and if he wins then the sky’s the limit for him in terms of pound-for-pound rankings.
– White marvels at the fact that Renan Barao hasn’t been beaten in eight years.
– Oddly, White takes a question about Justin Beiber who’s hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons. White appears to be in the “give him a break” category, saying that if he had as much money and fame as him when he was 19 he’d probably be dead already!