UFC 121: Dana White Pre-Fight Interview With Ariel Helwani

Dana White took time out to speak with MMAfighting’s Ariel Helwani after the UFC 121 pre-fight press conference yesterday, and you can watch the video and read the keynotes from what their discussion below.

– Dana on Cain Velasquez: “He’s been fantastic. He’s one of the coolest, nicest, easiest guys to work with, I like him very much and have a lot of respect for him.”

– Dana says the fact that both Lesnar and Velasquez aren’t the type of people who like the cameras being on them during their personal time is part of the reason that this series of UFC Primetime is so interesting.

– White confirms that thought they are expensive to make he likes the Primetime format and will continue to use it in the future, though so far they haven’t decided which fighters will do under the spotlight next.

– In White’s opinion Lesnar has changed since his illness and become a little mellower and more humble.

– Brock Lesnar is the UFC’s biggest star according to Dana, though he also mentions Georges St.Pierre as being, “right up there with him.”

– Jake Shields could have been fighting for the title right off the bat according to White due to his win over Dan Henderson in Strikeforce. He confirms that a win for Shields will earn him a title shot, though the same does not apply for Martin Kampmann.

– Dana doesn’t answer directly when asked if Shields is a boring fighter though, instead choosing to note that he likes fighter’s like Wanderlei Silva who come out swinging for the fences.

“Tito needs to come out and win on Saturday night,” he says, pointing to the fact that the former champion hasn’t won in four years.

– Dana says that he’s flying to New York to speak to an un-named party about the potential of MMA being in the Olympics.

– Dana’s response to Frank Shamrock saying that the UFC president was the reason behind the sport not being legalized in New York yet in a recent interview with Helwani: “Frank Shamrock is an irrelevant jackass. He’s a two-faced, lying…I mean, I bet he didn’t tell you on your radio show that he flew out to my office a month ago, sat down with me, tried to make peace with me. Did he tell you that?” “No,” Helwani confirmed.

Watch the full interview below.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously FightOfTheNight.com) in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.