Dana White sat down with Sherdog.com recently to look ahead to what’s in store for the UFC in 2014 and we’ve got keynotes from the conversation below, plus scroll down for the full video.
– The UFC will be without their two biggest stars, Anderson Silva and GSP, in 2014, but White doesn’t think they can just manufacture new stars to replace them. He believes it happens naturally – such as Chael Sonnen talking up a storm prior to his first fight against Silva and then putting on a great fight, or how Alexander Gustafsson is now someone everybody knows and talks about due to how he performed against Jon Jones.
White points out that people asked him what they were going to do when Chuck Liddell retired too, yet they’ve managed fine without him.
He also claims that behind the scenes they don’t talk about this sort of thing. If GSP or Silva want to retire then that’s up to them.
– When asked who he thinks could become a big star for the UFC going forward he says it all depends on who remains injury-free – pointing out that champions like Cain Velasquez and Anthony Pettis are currently on the sidelines.
– Despite rumors of dwindling PPV numbers, White claims that the sport has never been bigger, growing internationally and in North America. He also states that the UFC’s fighters are now being paid more than they’ve ever been before. If anything he feels that the bad economy is to blame for people’s perception that things aren’t going well.
– White says they are “all in” when it comes to countries like China and the UK and are determined to make the sport big there. He says it’s not easy – if ti was everyone would be doing it – but that they are committed to continuing to grow the sport.