See below for Ariel Helwani’s customary pre-event interview with Dana White ahead of UFC 127: Penn Vs Fitch in Australia.
– Dana says that a lot of times when fighters have bad blood pre-fight, as with Jorge Rivera and Michael Bisping, the actual fight doesn’t live up to the hype. On this occasion though he feels the stylistic match-up between the two should make for an entertaining bout.
– He says he’s happy to see Rivera getting his moment in the spotlight given the tough times he’s experienced in his personal life over the past few years.
– Dana wouldn’t commit to any talk of Bisping getting into the title mix soon, noting that Yushin Okami should be ahead of him in the queue. Having said that White expects Okami to fight once more before earning his title shot.
– Somewhat surprisingly, White says that for BJ Penn to avoid retirement he has to defeat Jon Fitch. He does however add that if Penn defeats Fitch then, “BJ Penn is back.”
– Despite Penn Vs Fitch being rumored to be a No.1 contenders bout, White says he’ll have to wait and see what happens with the GSP Vs Shields fight first.
– Dana says George Sotiropoulos is a stud, and admits he’s a huge fan of him for his exciting ground-fighting style. He’s not willing to commit to the Australian being given a title shot if he wins tonight though, pointing out that there’s a lot of other talented fighters in the mix at 155lbs.
– The UFC boss doesn’t have much in the way of comforting words for fans of Fedor Emelianenko. “He looks old and it’s over,” is his assessment of the Russian’s recent loss in Strikeforce.
Furthermore he dismisses the idea of Fedor still having a chance to fight in the UFC, stating that you simply can’t do business with the fighter’s management team M-1 Global.
Watch the full interview below.