New Dana White interview June 29th

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hippysmacker
6/29/07 4:31:59PM
Excerpts from MMAuniverse.com

Most important things to me
1. Fedor deal still in the works
2. Pride- says they are going to make it work
3. He's still in a fued with Sherdog
4. Drugs still an issue
5. He thinks MMa wil be an olympic sport someday


The Latest News from UFC President Dana White
Date submitted: 29 June 2007
Author: Brad McCray

Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White, recently discussed issues affecting his company and mixed martial arts in an interview with The Oregonian.

Foremost on most MMA fans' minds are the contract status of Fedor Emelianenko, considered to be the best fighter in the world, the return of Pride Fighting Championship, and the promised "Super Bowl of MMA" pitting the Pride champions against the UFC champions.

Unfortunately, there are no answers - at least none that White is willing to reveal.

White said the UFC is negotiating with Fedor Emelianenko, who last fought for Bodog in April, but would not discuss terms. The virtues of a Pride vs. UFC "Super Bowl" are negligible at this point. The UFC has acquired nearly every top Pride star (Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Team Quest co-founder Dan Henderson) as well as former Pride star and current UFC lightweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. If Emelianenko comes to UFC, the event would be one-sided.

As for the return of Pride, Asia's top promotion, White said recent reports of it resurfacing in September are false.

"I'm not sure what will happen there," he said, acknowledging bad blood on both sides of the negotiation table. "The Pride deal took so long and the stigma became so bad."

So why not do away with Pride altogether and take the UFC to Japan and China?

"The fact is, Pride is a very popular brand," he said. "We're going to make it work."

WHITE ON THE UFC vs. SHERDOG:

One of the more surprising feuds to surface in recent months has been between the UFC and Sherdog.com, the largest independent MMA Web site that recently partnered with ESPN.com.

White recently stated his disdain for Sherdog.com and other MMA Web sites on a Sacramento radio show. Given the importance of Internet buzz in creating the UFC juggernaut, the statement was surprising.

"I have had a lot of battles with those guys," White said. "I have no respect for Sherdog. Half their stories are a complete (expletive) lie. It's like a tabloid.

"Plus, they went and found out who the finalists were for season four of The Ultimate Fighter and ran them. Of all the scumbaggish things. When you burn me like that, it's forever. I will never trust them or like them."

Sherdog editor Josh Gross reacted with surprise, Just as he had reacted when the UFC pulled Sherdog's media credentials two years ago.

"I dare him to point to one story we reported that we had to retract or move away from. He can't," Gross said via email. "Regarding TUF, yeah well sometimes news happens to be something people don't want out. TUF 4 was different than every other season, as it was intended to crown No. 1 contenders in two weight divisions. We're not talking about some kids no one had heard of. These were veteran fighters. And so we had who was in the finals, and reported as discreetly as possible; we warned anyone that didn't want to know that they should turn down their radios.

"Also, that doesn't explain why we were denied in Oct. of '05 when the TUF news was reported in June of '06."

WHITE ON DRUG USE IN MMA:

At the beginning of the month, MMA legend Royce Gracie and former NFL receiver Johnnie Morton tested positive for steroids after K-1: Dynamite USA, a pay-per-view event at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Two months earlier, Nick Diaz tested positive for THC following a Pride fight. Veteran fighter Jorge Ortiz tested positive for steroids following a fight June 8. And the latest drug issue: former K-1 USA Grand Prix champion Carter Williams tested positive for cocaine following a loss last weekend during Strikeforce Elite Xtreme Combat: Shamrock vs. Baroni."

"When human beings are your products, there will always be issues," White said. "Steroids are a problem in sports today. I was blown away by the Gracie thing. Morton? Come on. He's been in the NFL."

WHITE ON THE OLYMPICS:

Speculation is increasing about the possibility of mixed martial arts as an Olympic event. The Olympics already award medals for a variety of wrestling and martial arts events, but mixes martial arts would take Olympic combat sports to a new level.

"That's always been my goal, and it will happen," White said. "It will be awesome. I know there have been talks, but no one has approached me."

MisFiT
6/29/07 4:38:27PM
Thanks for the heads up, glad to hear the positive news.
Ydoc
6/29/07 6:51:23PM
Good read; thanks for posting. In the case of the Olympics wouldn't that mean on amateur fighters could fight, leaving all the big names unable to compete? I never quite understood how we could have a dream team in basketball but have only college kids in baseball. Maybe you could explain where the UFC would stand in that instance?
hippysmacker
6/29/07 9:24:00PM
Don't know about the amateur thing. It was changed in baseball, basketball, and soccer so i guess it could be in MMA as well.
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