Dana White held court at a post-fight media scrum after ‘UFC On FOX 4’ last night and you can read our full keynotes from the conversation below, plus scroll down to watch it for yourselves.
– White has some sympathy for Ryan Bader because Lyoto Machida is hard to train for and when you throw punches at him he’s never there to receive them. In the end Bader paid the price for charging forward trying to connect, but White says that it was time for the former TUF winner to try and make something happen in the fight.
– Despite his loss White felt Jamie Varner looked “awesome” and has done well to come “back from the dead” after a period out fighting in the smaller promotions.
He also reveals that the injury-prone fighter went to the hospital after the fight with a suspected broken hand.
– As for Mike Swick, White says, “I literally love the kid and I’m happy for him. So happy for him and he deserves it.”
– White says it wasn’t that hard to pick who won the evening’s bonus awards, but he likes that there were a number of fights to choose from. He felt the Lauzon Vs Varner fight was an obvious choice for ‘Fight Of The Night’. As for ‘KO Of The Night’, the fact that Swick had been out for a couple of years and had been hurt earlier in the fight made his finish even more impressive.
– White reveals the pre-fight VADA drug testing for the BJ Penn Vs Rory MacDonald doesn’t matter anymore because the fight’s been canceled due to to MacDonald requiring 38 stitches on a cut to the forhead he received in training. White found out halfway though the event tonight.
– FOX asked for White to announce who would be the next No.1 contender at 205lbs live after the fights.
As for choosing between Machida and Shogun, White felt it wasn’t a hard decision. He firmly believes that Machida wants it more than his rival does. He notes that Shogun didn’t despute the decision either – if he really believed it should have been him then he should have pleaded his case, but instead he just accepted it.
– White admits that “things haven’t exactly gone our way on FOX” so far, but tonight’s show did. He hopes that as the FOX deal continues the fighters will relax more when they compete on those cards and just put on a good show as they usually always do.
– Even if Jon Jones loses to Dan Henderson he won’t get an immediate rematch – Henderson would go on to fight Machida.
– The UFC president seems fairly optimistic about the chances of another title fight taking place on FOX, though it’s not neccessarily something they have lined up right now.
– He feels FOX are getting “very comfortable” with the fact that the UFC know’s what they are doing in terms of producing a good quality show. He thinks they were nervous about it at first because they are not used to handing over the reigns, but that was part of the deal.
– Looking ahead to a potential title rematch between Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez, White says there’s been an interesting development. He met with JDS and he said that he likes and respects Velasquez and feels he deserves his title shot, but that’s not who he wants to fight next.
Instead the champ has his sights set on Alistair Overeem who he thinks is “a punk”, has a big mouth and has been saying bad things about him. Therefore he wants to have the opportunity to knock him out.
While White says JDS Vs Overeem isn’t neccessarily what will come next, he was happy to hear Dos Santos talk that way and he’s open to the possibility of it.
– He moves on to talking about Frankie Edgar and how he even went as far as to talk to his parents and wife to try to convince the fighter to move down to featherweight. However it turns out they were all on Edgar’s side and managed to get White to agree to giving him the chance to regain his title at lightweight.
– Despite his manager Cesar Gracie pushing for it, there’s no chance that Nick Diaz will be allowed to fight in another state while he’s serving his suspension in Nevada.
– Dan won’t be drawn on the likely TV ratings for the show, but appears to acknowledge they might have some problems given that they are going up against the Olympics. he points out that the other networks have basically gone “radio silent” over this period and aren’t even trying to compete with the sporting event due to the attention it’s receiving.
He’s just happy that the fighters put on a good show and he says that the FOX people were “all pumped up” about it.
– There’s a funny moment as White is asked about the ‘ref cam’ that was supposed to be getting used on the show. he asks his head of production if it was used on the show, but the diplomatic response is that there were some good looks, but none that were good enough to use on the broadcast.
“… it sucked,” White then quips to reporters. The producer say’s they’ll continue trying to use it. “Yeah, even though it sucked we’re going to keep doing it,” White adds to more laughs from the media.
– White wore a t-shirt with Ronda Rousey’s cover from the ESPN ‘Body Issue’ emblazoned on it at the weigh-ins because he says he’s a big fan of her. He says her cover has been “selling like hotcakes” and he doesn’t see any reason for FOX to be upset that he was wearing something that related to a rival network.
He also confirms that he plans to go and see Rousey’s next Strikeforce fight against Sarah Kaufman later this month.
– While it will happen eventually White doesn’t have any plans yet to introduce a 115lb division.
– Cung Le Vs Rich Franklin will headline UFC On Fuel TV 6 in China.
– It’s not clear what will happen with Chael Sonnen next. White says he earned a lot of money at UFC 148 and FOX love him and want him on their shows, so he’s got a lot of options.
– White reveals that Lyoto Machida did appear to be plotting a move to the middleweight division before he earned his title shot last night.
– There were initial reports that Dominick Cruz could be out for well over a year after the injury that forced him out of his title fight with Urijah Faber, but White says he’ll be back “way sooner than that.”
– White is willing to leave it up to BJ Penn whether he wants to wait until a later date to fight MacDonald or remain on the UFC 152 card to fight someone else.