After an entertaining night of fights in Sweden at ‘UFC On Fuel TV 2’, UFC President Dana White sat down with the media to discuss a number of big talking points in the world of MMA at this moment in time.
Check out keynotes from their conversation below and scroll down to watch the full video for yourselves courtesy of MMAHeat.
– White says they have talked about doing two shows at the same time in different parts of the world, but there’s obstacles to overcome, not least the infrastructure involved in doing it.
He points out that to do so they need to have different commentators, announcer, camera-men, etc, and that’s a challenge.
– Ranking people in their own country and perhaps having things like European champions, etc just has the have in boxing is something the UFC has thought about, though it seems to be more of a long-term goal rather than something that’s going to happen anytime soon.
– Moving on to ‘King Mo’ being suspended for failing a drugs test and then after calling one of the judges at the hearing ‘A racist b!tch’ being fired from strikeforce – Dana stresses that his release wasn’t anything to do with a personality clash between the fighter and himself. He says the matter bigger than him and points out that the commission has the ability to suspend his own license. ‘King Mo’ will have to apply for a license to fight when his suspension is over and White hints that this will be a challenge for the fighter given everything that’s gone on.
White does respect the fact that King Mo has since apologized to the commissioner in question though.
– Dana made it clear from the start that he’s in no mood to talk about Alistair Overeem’s failed drugs test, and when someone asks him if he’s been happy with the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s handling of these recent situations he says that’s too close to that topic and he brushes the question aside.
– White confirms they will be heading to India soon, with a new TV deal in place there and a series of The Ultimate Fighter for the region in the works. With regards to any potential competition from upstart Indian promotion ‘Super Fight league’, White is confident that the UFC will do well when they go there, and says the current MMA talent in India have to decide whether they want to fight for the Super Fight League or the UFC.
– Alexander Gustafsson proved that he’s one of the top 205lb’ers with his win last night according to White and he should be fighting someone who’s top 5 in the rankings next time out.
– White says he always enjoys coming to a new country when they are able to break records, and that’s what they did in Sweden by setting an attendance record in the Ericcson Globe Arena in Stockholm. He thought the crowd were great and he’s confident they will be happy with what they saw as the fighters put on a great show.
He gives the Swedish fans an extra boost by saying it’s 100% the most educated set of fans they’ve ever had, and were one of the top 3 in terms of noise levels.
– White has “no clue” what’s going to happen with the next UFC event in Rio which will be headlined by Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen which was due to be held in a soccer stadium. From the sounds of things it may well be delayed due to the fact that there’s a United Nation’s Conference being held their on the same weekend they want to hold the event in June and the Mayor is being pressured not to have the UFC event on at that time. Even if it was allowed there would be a problem finding enough hotel rooms for fans. White confirms they still intend to host the event in Rio though and hopefully it would only be either a week earlier or later.
– Some of the media try to bring the conversation back around to Overeem, but again White makes it clear he’s very upset about the whole situation and won’t talk about it.
He does however answer a question about whether the UFC should conduct it’s own random testing. White feels they are doing enough already. They test fighters before they sign for the promotion, or to appear on the TUF reality show – and he stresses that they are not even legally obliged to do that. He feels that the UFC are more than doing it’s part in that regard, as much if not more than any other sport, and it’s down to the Athletic Commission to do further testing beyond that. It would be a huge undertaking to start doing random drugs tests and he feels it would just not be feasible given everything else the UFC already have on their plate.
– Dana is a big fan of Brad Pickett – both in terms of his fighting style and his personality and is certainly open to him being a potential title contender in the bantamweight division in the future.
If he ever was to get that title shot White is also open to having the fight in the UK. He says they are trying to hammer out a new TV deal in the UK right now, but nothing’s been established yet. The fact that he states that having the FOX deal in the U.S helps indicates they might be trying to secure something with the FOX owned Sky Sports or FX UK channels in the region.