Q&A with Dana White, president of Ultimate Fighting Championships
Dana White, 37, is largely credited with helping turn Ultimate Fighting Championships from a farce into a force in the world of mixed martial arts. As UFC president, White has overseen staggering growth in the public consciousness and helped UFC stake a larger claim in the pay-per-view market than WWE or boxing last year. As it goes more mainstream -- UFC was featured on recent covers of Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine -- White has ideas about how it can grow even bigger. He talked about a wide range of topics recently with the Star Tribune.
Rampage wins title, Liddell still garners attention
Hours after UFC 71, I posted at Sprawl ‘n Brawl the reasons why Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson is good for the UFC. To summarize, he is naturally marketable. Every interview he does is humorous. And as many have pointed out, he appeals to an African-American market that UFC has yet to tap into.
With all that being said, who has the UFC decided to put over?
From a Q&A session with Dana White in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
Q Chuck Liddell is among the most recognizable UFC fighters. What impact does his recent loss to Quinton Jackson have on UFC?
A It happens in this sport. Guys lose. Chuck is one of those fighters that’s going to bounce back. He’s a tough guy. … You never know who’s going to win. Chuck getting knocked out was the equivalent of Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson.
Excuse me? Buster Douglas? Surely, you’re not comparing ‘Rampage’ Jackson to Buster Douglas. Let’s be fair here. Buster Douglas was a 42-to-1 underdog. Didn’t you see the betting odds for the Rampage/Liddell fight? A 42-to-1 underdog Quinton Jackson was not. Not even close. This is an example of pushing the angle that the fight was a fluke victory for ‘Rampage’.
Not a single mention has been made of ‘Rampage’ in any of the interviews I have seen with Dana recently. Yet, he repeatedly mentions Chuck Liddell.
Most interesting are his comments yesterday on The Jim Rome Show. He says Chuck Liddell is one of the best, if not the best, mixed martial artists in the world. Dana mentioned that Liddell v. Silva would be the biggest fight in MMA history. I would have to argue that the 205 pound double-crown championship fight between Rampage and Dan Henderson could be considered the biggest fight in MMA history, depending on how you market it. White was also still shocked that Chuck got laid out. Apparently, Dana forgot what happened in Japan in 2003.
I don’t have anything against Chuck Liddell. I think he’s a great fighter and I love watching him fight. Chuck has done great things for the UFC and helped them get to where they are now, and I am sure Dana is appreciative. However, you have to roll with the punches and embrace your new champion.
You have a commodity that is waiting to be marketed in Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson. Market him correctly, and he can help you take UFC to a new level. If Jackson beats Henderson, you’ll have no choice but to market him — so you might as well get a head start.
C’mon, Dana. Like Rampage would say, “you know the bidness.”
Three IFL Athletes To Compete for USA Grappling Team Spots
NEW YORK, June 7, 2007 - The International Fight League (OTC.BB: IFLI), the world’s number one team-based professional mixed martial arts league, will have three athletes competing this weekend at the USA Wrestling Grappling World Team Trials at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, with the winners going on to the Wrestling World Games in Antalya, Turkey in September. The trio, New York Pitbulls heavyweight Bryan Vetell (Hempstead, N.Y.), Portland Wolfpack middleweight Matt Horwich (Portland, Ore.) and Wolfpack assistant coach Dennis Hallman (Yelm, Wash.), all won qualifying events to reach this weekend’s competition.
WILL BARONI GET A UFC TITLE SHOT?
In a conference call with the media today, Phil Baroni and Frank Shamrock fielded questions about their upcoming headline bout for Strikeforce. In the midst of the banter back and forth between the two, Baroni made a few comments about his future that caught a lot of attention.
'HILLBILLY KID' SHINES IN OCTAGON
When Spencer Fisher was 15 years old, his foundation crumbled beneath his feet. Within the same calendar year, he lost his parents in separate tragedies – his father to a train accident, his mother to a brain aneurysm. Orphaned before he could legally drive, Fisher soon faced the possibility of being separated from his two sisters. His family was on the brink of collapse before his grandparents stepped in to pick up the pieces.
ULTIMATE FIGHTER RATINGS SLIP IN WEEK 9
The ninth episode of The Ultimate Fighter 5 drew an overall rating of 1.2 on Thursday, May 31st. The previous week's episode, which was promoted around the street fight between show contestants Marlon Sims and Noah Thomas, drew a slightly higher 1.3 overall rating.
Jason Black - Filling The Void
Usually the best news comes when you least
expect it. Jason Black, a seven year veteran of mixed martial arts, with 22 wins in 25 fights and a reputation among the hardcore followers of the sport as one of the most underrated fighters in the game, had given up waiting, had given up expecting that he was going to one day get that call to fight in the UFC.
Josh Koscheck: The MySpace Bulletin Wasn’t from Me
A bulletin that showed up on the official MySpace profile of UFC welterweight Josh Koscheck — one that ripped into the UFC’s policy for paying fighters — was not actually posted by Koscheck.
That’s the word from the American Kickboxing Academy fighter, who posted a follow-up bulletin claiming his account was hacked.
The original posting can be found after the “Read the rest of this entry…” link below. It basically states that the UFC is making record revenues while failing to appropriately compensate its fighters. UFC president Dana White was the biggest target in the 400-word diatribe.
Fedor to Call Brother's Fight Versus Yvel
To residents of St. Petersburg, Russia,the "Flying Dutchman" will take on a different meaning July 21 when the ship is the backdrop for an international field of mixed martial artists, including wild Dutch fighter Gilbert Yvel (Pictures) and Russian heavyweight Aleksander Emelianenko (Pictures).
Report: Sims, Thomas off TUF 5 Finale and out of the UFC
Marlon Sims and Noah Thomas will never be allowed to fight in the UFC, reports Steve Sievert of Houston Chronicle's Brawl Sports.
"Not only are they not fighting in the finale, they'll never fight in the UFC. Spike wanted that fight. It ain't gonna happen," UFC President Dana White told Brawl Sports.
During the eighth episode of TUF 5, Marlon Sims and Noah Thomas broke into an impromptu fight in the backyard which ended when they shook hands and agreed to face each other like professional athletes in an Octagon.
Parisyan: ‘I would love to fight Fitch’
Here’s a snip from Parisyan:
“I would love to fight Fitch. I’ll fight anybody at 170. I took the Josh Burkman fight. He was ranked top 10 in the world. Anyone who’s top 10, I’ll fight. Even me beating Jon Fitch, and I fight him and I beat him, I don’t gain anything. He’s a tough guy. I’m not underestimating Fitch. But still, I don’t gain anything beating Fitch, but I would fight Fitch. I want to fight for a title.”
Fitch will be in action less than one week from today against Roan Carneiro at UFC Fight Night 10 on June 12 at the Seminole Hotel Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. With a win in front of a national television audience on Spike television, it would no doubt do wonders for his name recognition among casual fans.
It would also help build an insane showdown between two top fighters at 170.
UFC nixes UFCmania.com sponsorship of Jon Fitch
The headline speaks for itself.
We received terrible news recently that the UFC will not approve our sponsorship of welterweight Jon Fitch at UFC Fight Night 10 on June 12, which is less than one week away.
No reason was given and the folks who I attempted to contact over at UFC headquarters didn’t respond.
The unresponsiveness is not surprising.
I’m just a small-time blogger trying to market and support an up-and-coming fighter — not some big-time player with deep pockets. And if the UFC doesn’t agree with that — for whatever reason — then far be it from me to tell them how to run their business.....
Serra Claims TapouT Lied On Their Debut Reality Show
The following is a press release sent out by Matt Serra's people:
In the recent episode of the television show TAPOUT, several issues regarding Matt Serra's affiliation with the company were brought into question. Matt wants it to be known that his conversation with Charles (aka mask) was edited totally out of context. Matt’s sponsorship by TAPOUT has been always been one of respect and loyalty.
Matt was promised by TAPOUT that they would produce a special edition Serra short for his upcoming championship fight. This promise was never fulfilled! The conversation that was aired without Matt's consent had nothing to do with wanting more money nor leaving them for another sponsor. The conversation was simply about Matt wanting to know if they could get the short produced by the time of his fight with GSP. They never would follow through with the shorts they promised. This is what the “real” conversation was about and nothing else! In the end, Matt decided to go with Sprawl after they guaranteed that they would produce the shorts that he wanted for the fight. In addition, most people do not know that one of Matt's jiu jitsu students is affiliated with the Sprawl Company and throughout Matt’s MMA career he remained with TAPOUT. He turned down several lucrative deals so that he could remain loyal to TAPOUT.
Everyone who knows Matt personally knows that he is a very loyal and honorable individual who tells it like it is! Matt is very proud to be the UFC Champion and looks forward to providing exciting fights in the future to all the MMA fans around the world!
UFC 71 Test Results: All Clean
The Nevada State Athletic Commission announced earlier today that all of the six fighters that were tested for ‘drugs of abuse’, tested negative for any signs.
Chuck Liddell, Quinton Jackson, Karo Parisyan, Josh Burkman, Alan Belcher, and Sean Salmon were the six fighters chosen by the NSAC at random to be tested after UFC 71.
The NSAC announced earlier in the week that all six had also tested negative for performance enhancing drugs as well.
IFL: Two spots for four teams
Understand the battle for a place in the playoffs
On June 16 the IFL will reach the final stage of qualifiers for the team competition. As the format of the event is not the most usual in the world of MMA, GRACIEMAG.com decided to make life easier for web-surfers, explaining the chances of qualifying for each of the teams, two of which, the Pitbulls and Dragons, are made up of Brazilians.
With the wins last weekend, the Sabres and Anacondas guaranteed a place among the four teams with the best campaign in the first phase, and thus are already qualified. On the coming 16th, four more enter into action and their fates will be decided.
Find out below what each one needs to do: