Q&A with UFC president Dana White
Irrepressible UFC president Dana White paid a visit to Yahoo! Sports recently and sat down for a talk on a wide range of subjects, from his opinion on Kimbo Slice to whether he wants his children to become fighters to which WEC fight he most wants to see. Here’s a transcript of the conversation:
Dave Doyle: We heard your video blog was coming back.
Dana White: I’m the Brett Favre of video blogging. I don’t know who’s retired and come back more times, me or him.
I live a pretty crazy lifestyle. You tuned into my video blogs and there’s jets and there’s cars and I’m making big-money bets with guys and [expletive] around with my friends and having fun.
Everyone loved the video blogs, but some people started writing letters like, “I’m about to lose my home.” I got letters like “Me and my daughters are going out on the street, and you’re betting more money on who can last on a treadmill for five minutes than I’ll make in two months.” It’s kind of like, “Whoa,” like a slap to me and slaps me back to reality, that people are hurting out there. It really messed me up for awhile. Three years ago, my video blogs would have been fun because everyone was making money and everything was great, the unemployment rate was down.
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DD: So why did you bring it back?
DW: Everyone has been messaging me, everyone wants me to bring the video blogs back, from fans to [UFC co-owner] Lorenzo [Fertitta], these things pull a quarter-million hits just on YouTube. My video blog rates higher than most television shows do.
I’m just going to be more conscious of what goes up there. I’m not trying to run around and flaunt my life, “Oh, look at this and look at that,” I just want it to be fun.
The reality is, behind the scenes (footage) isn’t all that exciting. I’m not going around 24 hours a day shooting craps on the corner with guys. I’m sitting in my car going to the next [expletive] interview. How much of that can you watch?
There were times when you’d look on my blogs and there would be comments, “Hey douchebag, put the fighters on here instead of you.” At the end of the day, I’m a fight promoter. My job is to go out, make it interesting and entertaining for the people, do anything I can to promote the fight. People got into the blog and there was this awareness that I was going out and doing all the stuff for the fight on Saturday. But for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, it’s not like all [expletive] excitement and I’m doing [expletive] that you want to watch on YouTube.
Matt Serra's Road Back to UFC Welterweight Title Begins in February
If you're wondering why Matt Serra hasn't been booked to fight since his UFC 98 clash against rival Matt Hughes in May, it's not because he's been injured or taking the loss too hard. No, Serra has simply been busy working on his new 83,000 square foot MMA gym that will be opening soon.
"It's going to be a beautiful martial arts facility," Serra told FanHouse on Thursday. "It's going to be the best one on Long Island, that's for sure."
Rumor: Cole Miller vs. Dan Lauzon At UFC 108
Although it hasn't been confirmed yet, there are reports that Cole Miller vs. Dan Lauzon is in the works for UFC 108 in January. MixedMartialArts.com reports paperwork has been sent out but other sources could not immediately confirm the fight. This would be Dan Lauzon's first fight in a while due to Affliction's demise and injuries and would allow him to fight on the same card as brother Joe.
UFC Signs KOTC Welterweight Mike Guymon
First UFC had an "Ace" in it's deck, and now it has a "Joker". KOTC Welterweight Mike "Joker" Guymon, the promotion's current Welterweight Champion, has signed an 18-month multi-fight deal with UFC. No debut date set for the 11-2-1 Guymon.
If Rampage Wants To Act, He Should Act Like A (Expletive) Coach (No TUF Spoilers)
That was the opinion this past week of current TUF 10 contestant Zak Jensen. In a guest blog he's doing for Cagewriter (Yahoo Sports MMA blog), Jensen took aim at coach Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and his coaching staff for the lack of support for Demico Rogers before, during and after his loss to Brendan Schaub on this week's episode. Jensen also noted that Rampage made excuses including a restaurant being packed and reading books on acting.
Someone, Somewhere Will Beat Anderson Silva
So says the man himself. In a recent Fighters Only interview, Anderson Silva said he's surely going to get submitted and beaten at some point, and he knows there is someone out there better than he is...we just don't know where. For the record, Silva hasn't been submitted since 2004, which was also his last decisive loss excluding a DQ in 2006.
AKA vs. Matt Hughes
"Recent comments by American Kickboxing Academy welterweights Mike Swick, Jon Fitch and Josh Koscheck about former UFC champion Matt Hughes and their desire to fight him have been misconstrued, say Swick and Fitch.
Both fighters said they would welcome a fight with the man who ruled their division and garnered praise by many pundits as the “most dominant champion in UFC history,” but also made it clear they respect Hughes and his accomplishments in the sport. "
Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin 2 slated for UFC 106
Former light heavyweight champions Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin will meet in the co-main event at UFC 106 “Lesnar vs. Carwin” on Nov. 21 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Yahoo! Sports was first to report the rematch on Thursday.
Ortiz won a controversial split decision over Griffin the first time the two met at UFC 59 in April 2006.
The 34-year-old Ortiz, who underwent back surgery a year ago, has not competed since he dropped a unanimous decision to reigning light heavyweight king Lyoto Machida at UFC 84 in May 2008. Though he was dominated for much of the match, he nearly submitted the unbeaten Brazilian with a third-round triangle choke, reminding his detractors that he remains a viable threat at 205 pounds.
Once the poster boy of the UFC, Ortiz has not won a fight since he stopped UFC hall of famer Ken Shamrock on strikes nearly three years ago. Still, the flamboyant Californian counts victories against Brazilian legend Wanderlei Silva, one-time International Fight League champion Vladimir Matyushenko and former UFC titleholders Vitor Belfort and Evan Tanner among his 15 career wins. Five of Ortiz’s six career defeats have come to current or former UFC champions.
After back-to-back wins over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Griffin ran aground. He relinquished the UFC light heavyweight crown to Rashad Evans in December and suffered an embarrassing knockout loss to middleweight titleholder Anderson Silva at UFC 101 two months ago. Based out of Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts in Las Vegas, the 30-year-old Griffin had never before lost back-to-back bouts.
UFC 106: Lesnar vs. Carwin
Saturday, Nov. 21
Mandalay Bay Events Center
UFC Heavyweight Championship
Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin
Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Luis Arthur Cane
Dustin Hazelett vs. Karo Parisyan
Jon Fitch vs. Ricardo Almeida
Amir Sadollah vs. Phil Baroni
Marcus Davis vs. Ben Saunders
George Sotiropoulos vs. Jason Dent
UFC Is Considering A Smaller Octagon
Evidently not wanting to see a sequel to "Run Kalib Run!" from UFC 83, Dana White recently said that he & Joe Silva are talking about making the Octagon UFC uses for fights smaller. No specifics mentioned yet except Dana thinks Silva wants to turn it "into a [expletive] bathtub. Have them fight in a little tollbooth."
A "Burnt Out" Rampage Could Return To UFC And Fight Again
That's the thoughts of the latest UFC personality to offer his view on Quinton Jackson's retirement-UFC Lightweight Champion BJ Penn. Penn notes fighting "does wear on you" and thinks Rampage is burnt out but could still return to UFC some day...but BJ thinks Rmapage is perfect for the "A-Team" role he's in and would love to see Rampage with the mohawk sported by Mr. T.
Marquardt: "Carwin will KO Brock in under 2 minutes"
Middleweight contender Nate Marquardt is backing his teammate Shane Carwin to beat Brock Lesnar by knockout in under two minutes.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he finished him in under two minutes,” Marquardt told Fighters Only recently. “The more I analyse the fight, I think its such a good fight for Shane. He is better on his feet, he is better on the ground, he hits harder.
Will Randy Couture on Spike TV Outdraw Fedor Emelianenko on CBS? Does it Matter?
On November 7, Strikeforce will put on the biggest fight it can possibly promote in Fedor Emelianenko vs. Brett Rogers. There are lots of ratings predictions going around, but the truth is that almost nobody knows what Fedor will draw on CBS. The safe money puts the number between the 1.9 Jake Shields and Robbie Lawler draw and the 3.1 Kimbo Slice drew against James Thompson. The former number was a disaster, while the latter was an unmitigated success.
It's also worth noting that the two successful EliteXC shows on CBS featured Gina Carano on the undercard, where she set records for viewers gained over the course of a fight. Unless Strikeforce can land someone like Bobby Lashley, it doesn't look like they will have a strong semi-main event from a ratings perspective to help anchor their first show on CBS.
DVR viewing pushes "The Ultimate Fighter 10" debut to 4.5 million viewers
After setting a ratings record as the most-viewed season debut in the history of "The Ultimate Fighter," the Sept. 16 "TUF 10 debut" recently saw its audience grow even larger.
The debut, which initially scored a (since-broken) single-episode record of 4.1 million viewers, actually drew an audience of 4.5 million viewers when the "live-plus-seven-day" viewing data was included, Spike TV recently announced.
The data results from tallying additional viewers who watched the show on DVR systems such as TIVO.
This season of "TUF" has been the most popular yet. Although season one produced the most current UFC talent, and while the "TUF 3" debut had long held the single-episode ratings record with 2.8 million viewers, "TUF 10" has raised the bar.
Featuring former EliteXC headliner Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson, final IFL heavyweight champion Roy Nelson, three former UFC fighters, four NFL vets, and coaches Rashad Evans and Quinton Jackson, the heavyweights-only season of the reality show competition has garnered widespread and mainstream attention.
In fact, last week's Sept. 30 episode, which featured the long-awaited Ferguson vs. Nelson matchup, scored a series record 5.3 million viewers and peaked with 6.1 million. The number will grow even further when the DVR viewers are factored in over the next couple weeks.
Dana : " Fedor is not afraid to come over and fight or do any of that stuff, "
"Fedor is not afraid to come over and fight or do any of that stuff," White said. "He's got nutty managers. These guys are from Russia. They come into America and try to strong-arm (us) into some deal that we won't want. "
"Go do that to the butcher down the street in Russia. It doesn't work here in the United States. If this guy wants to come and put himself up against the best fighters in the world, he'll eventually make it to the UFC."
Tito Ortiz’ management team responds to Jenna comments
Tito’s long term manager and friend, Damian McLawhaon said this tonight:
“If he wants to drag Jenna into this and I know Jenna, she’s a sweetheart, then I think that’s not a place for manager to get involved. I think the fights between Mark and Tito and not his manager and he’s talking a lot of smack. He should maybe start training and get in the cage if he wants to talk like that. I think if Mark wants to say something then they’re fighting each other, whatever. I just don’t think it’s a place for a manager to come at Tito like that about his girlfriend.”
Cain Velasquez Chasing UFC Heavyweight Title ... And Perfection
In few sports is true perfection attainable. In baseball, a pitcher can retire 27 batters in a row (it's only been done 18 times in over 100 years). A bowler can reach perfection with strikes in 12 straight frames. In football, a quarterback can somewhat illogically boast of a perfect passer rating even in a game where he does not complete all his passes (and even in a game that his team loses).
So the concept of perfection in sports is difficult to quantify, explain and achieve. Nonetheless, it's what motivates rising heavyweight star Cain Velasquez, who faces Ben Rothwell (30-6) at UFC 104 on Oct. 24.
Despite his 6-0 record with five stoppages, Velasquez remains his own worst critic as he continues his ascent to what he hopes will soon be a date with the heavyweight championship on the line. The new father of 4 1/2 month old daughter Coral recently took some time to talk to FanHouse about his demanding personality, switching opponents from Shane Carwin to Rothwell, and his response to critics.
UFC 105 Couture vs Vera to Air Free on Spike TV
"Legendary five-time UFC champion Randy “The Natural” Couture will headline a fight card on Spike TV for the first time on Saturday, Nov. 14 (8:00pm ET/PT same day tape) in the main event of UFC 105. Emanating from the MEN Arena in Manchester, England, Couture will square off against highly regarded veteran Brandon “The Truth” Vera in a bout in the light heavyweight division."
Coleman manager retracts "emotional" comments about Tito
Mark Coleman’s manager has been in touch with Fighters Only again today to discuss the comments he made this morning regarding Tito Ortiz and his wife Jenna Jameson. Mike DiSabato first spoke to FO in reaction to a Twitter post Ortiz made yesterday that called Coleman a ‘sissy’ for pulling out of their planned UFC 106 fight (Coleman has a torn MCL).
Having had time to reflect on this morning’s outburst, DiSabato decided a retraction was in order and contacted us to set the record straight.
“When I said what I said, I was very emotional. It was me responding without thinking, and that’s not really my style,” the businessman said. “Where that came from was, I have been a friend of Mark Coleman for over 20 years, we were in college together, and I just jumped right in to defend him. I feel he deserves a lot of respect for his achievements in this sport and I feel he does not always get the respect that he deserves.”