Dana White took time out to speak with Fuel TV’s Ariel Helwani after last night’s Sanchez Vs Ellenberger event and you can see what they had to say below, plus scroll down to watch the interview for yourselves.
– Dana admits they “blew it” by not making the entertaining main event between Diego Sanchez Vs Jake Ellenberger a five-rounder. He hints that it was someone else’s decision, but that from this point forward they will be doing five round bouts for all main events.
– White was impressed with Jake Ellenberger and points out that even Diego Sanchez was saying after the fight that he was the toughest opponent he had faced.
– As for what comes next for Ellenberger, White says this was big for him, but interim champ Carlos Condit wants to wait for a fight with GSP and the UFC president understands that decision. So there’s not a title shot for Ellenberger just yet, and he hints that the winner of the Josh Koscheck Vs Johny Hendricks fight on FOX in May will be significant in establishing what happens next in the division.
– Sanchez wise, it’s down to the fighter himself what he wants to do, and White notes that he did indicate at the post-fight presser that he was considering a potential move back down to 155lbs. White says he loves Sanchez and will be happy for him to fight wherever he wants to.
As for Sanchez bizarre entrance in which he came out carrying holding a cross out in front of him in the direction of Ellenberger, White said, “Typical Diego Sanchez…he’s out of his tree.”
– Dana gave props to the Nebraska crowd, saying that the noise they made sounded like 17,000 people rather than 7,000.
– Moving on to Dave Herman who lost last night, White agrees that he needs to focus more on his fighting and less on his pre-fight antics such as turning up “looking like a Gorilla” and says he hates that stuff.
– White likes Stefan Struve and feels not a big enough deal is made over the fact that despite all his experience he’s still just 23 years-old.
– The UFC president appeared to draw a blank when asked who he thought won the Aaron Simpson Vs Ronny Markes fight. He then stated that he tells the fighters not to be “the blur in the show”, and unfortunately on this occasion it appears that was the case with this one.
– White believes the Nevada State Athletic Commission are “very consistent about being inconsistent.” He’s unhappy that Chael Sonnen wasn’t allowed to coach on The Ultimate Fighter despite having paid his dues for his illegal activities, yet boxer Floyd Mayweather had a jail sentence pushed back just so he could fight in May. With that in mind he has no idea what NSAC are going to do about Nick Diaz recent positive drugs test for marijuana.
Despite all that White does believe that Diaz is in the wrong even though he has a medical license to smoke marijuana in California, as it’s clearly stated in the rules that it’s not allowed in Las Vegas. They invested a lot of money in him and asked him to just “play the game” and do everything he was supposed to, so he finds this positive drugs test to be “very frustrating.”
As for whether Diaz will fight again or will make good on his post-fight promise to retire, White points to the third grade picture of Diaz raising his fist and says that he was born to fight, and he expects he will do so again.
– He says that he doesn’t expect to bring in 100,000 people when they return to Japan for UFC 144, but he believes there is a hardcore fan base there that they will appeal to. They are not looking to recreate the PRIDE era, and the show will run like a normal UFC show.
– Regarding an online plea by former champion Tim Sylvia who wants a chance to return to the UFC, White says he has “nothing against the guy”, but he doesn’t sound interested in having him back, pointing out that Sylvia was the champ when the heavyweight division was at it’s weakest. He seems unaware that Sylvia has won several bouts against relatively unknown opposition in more recent times, and focuses more on his quick losses to Fedor Emelianenko and boxer Ray Mercer a few years ago.