Following last night’s ‘UFC On Fuel TV 5’ post-fight presser in the UK, Dana White took time out to speak with the assembled media about the big talking points in MMA.
Read the keynotes from their conversation below and scroll down to watch the full video for yourselves courtesy of Sheldon Keay.
– Matt Mitrione was offered the chance to step in as a replacement for Frank Mir against Daniel Cormier in Strikeforce’s November event but he turned it down.
White doesn’t know why Mitrione said no, but he’s not angry about it, pointing out that recently the fighter was trying to call out a high profile opponent in ‘Rampage’ Jackson, yet for some reason he won’t fight Cormier.
– With Garry Cook installed as the UFC’s new Head of Europe, White says Marshall Zelaznik will head back to the U.S and will remain with the company in an unspecified role.
– He feels sorry for the unlucky Duane Ludwig who suffered another freak injury in the Octagon last night.
– Dana didn’t have an injury update on Kyle Kingsbury, but just from looking at the state of his eye he’s assuming he’s got a broken orbital bone.
– France, Italy, China and India are the main new markets the UFC are targetting right now, along with “a lot of stuff here in the UK.” Poland is a market that’s not yet registered on the UFC’s radar.
– Dana says that a lot of other promotions have been copying what the UFC’s has been doing, but he then claims that over the next few years they are going to “flip the script” and “change everything again.”
He can’t say exactly what the changes will be, but he does argue that doing less shows is not the answer as the sport won’t be able to grow that way, fighters won’t be able to make enough money to make it viable and you can’t service all the different markets that are demanding events.
– He thinks it’s interesting that Clay Guida is moving to 145lbs and his strength could help him there, though he wonders how he’ll deal with the speed of the featherweights.
– Cormier moving down to light-heavyweighty when he comes to the UFC is something that White would be interested in seeing.
– Part of new UFC exec Gary Cook’s responsibility will be Africa and White says they are looking at new opportunites over there.
– Accrding to White, Brad Pickett wants to fight again ASAP and is targetting the Australia card in December.
– The UFC president isn’t willing to entertain the idea of John Hathaway as a major contender at welterweight after his win last night, saying that his fight with John Maguire was “terrible.”
– Paul Sass underestimated Matt Wiman in White’s opinion. He was impressed with Wiman.
– Dan Henderson Vs Lyoto Machida is the fight the UFC are looking to make, but there’s no indication yet of when it’ll happen.
– White’s still high on Ronda Rousey and admits he’d bring her into the UFC if it was possible, but for now she’s a Strikeforce fighter. Right now he could still only envisage one-off woman’s fights in the UFC though as there’s still not a strong enough talent pool to create a division.
– Dana’s asked a question about Greg Jackson, but he reveals that he now has an agreement with Jon Jones that he won’t say anything more about his coach.
– He’s not keen on the idea of the UFC sponsoring any more fighters after doing so with Jon Jones didn’t work out well.