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Tag: Dana White

You Can Calm Down, The UFC Is Not Holding 54 Events Next Year


(Subtle.)

By Matt Saccaro

Earlier today, Ariel Helwani tweeted that there was going to be 54 UFC events in 2014, or at least that was the plan.

But there won’t be as many as 54 events, and it’s possible that many of the extra events won’t even be on television. Lorenzo Fertitta elucidated the UFC’s plans for 2014 in an interview with Ariel Helwani. Predictably, the UFC is focusing on international growth in 2014.

“We are looking at expanding our Fight Night product,” said Fertitta. “We have the bottom tier, we have the Ultimate Fighter which we’re taking around the world now. We have obviously the series on FOX Sports 1. We just got done filming The Ultimate Fighter: China which will air in January in China. We’ve got The Ultimate Fighter: Canada and Australia in production right now. We’re in pre-production for series in other various countries around the world. That’s our base,” he said. But TUF is only one piece of the global MMA puzzle. The more important piece, at least according to Fertitta, are the mid-level Fight Night cards.

“In the middle of the pyramid we have our UFC Fight Night brand,” he said. “We’re gonna take that Fight Night product and expand it into Europe and into Asia next year…We’re gonna add fights in those regions so when you add them on to the 33 we’d do this year, it gets into that 40-ish type number.”

Regarding the highly controversial number of 54, Fertitta claimed that he misspoke. He also teased about where the events would be televised (if anywhere).

“Is that what I said? 54? It won’t be quite that. I think I misspoke. It’ll be in the 40′s. Right now, we’ll have some news coming up on where they’re gonna air. I think we’re gonna have some ground-breaking ideas as far as where that’s gonna be available.”

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Quote of the Day: Georges St. Pierre Will Never Fight Again Unless Freddie Roach Is in His Corner


(Hey, it could be worse. / Photo via Sherdog)

We’re not sure if you’ve heard about this yet but UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre hung onto his belt this past Saturday at UFC 167 with a controversial split decision win over Johny Hendricks and then kinda, sorta announced a retirement, of sorts. The story hasn’t got much attention so first off, we wanted to make sure you knew about that.

In any case, UFC president Dana White is intent on bringing GSP back to fight Hendricks again and, according to a new report from Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole, who is in Macau to cover the Manny Pacquiao/Brandon Rios boxing match this week, “Rush” told “PacMan” trainer Freddie Roach that he’ll never fight again if he doesn’t have him in his corner.

Roach said he has yet to speak to St-Pierre on the telephone, but said the champion texted him.

“He said, ‘I’m not going to fight again unless you are in my corner,’” Roach said. Asked to clarify if that meant on fight night, as well, Roach said, “Absolutely.” To this point, Roach has never been in a UFC fighter’s corner on the night of a fight.

Roach, always eager to promote himself, also said that he “pretty much came up with the game plan” for St. Pierre against Hendricks. So…good job?

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If MMA Is About Respect, Why Have We Turned Against Georges St. Pierre?


(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

By Seth Falvo

My first thought following the main event of UFC 167 was that Georges St. Pierre had a concussion. Granted, “hack journalist” is a far cry from doctor, but he was displaying symptoms that should make any sports fan concerned. He lost track of what round it was, he had trouble forming words, and the completely vacant look in his eyes was disturbing — even for a guy as stoic as GSP.

If this thought occurred to Dana White and the media members in attendance, they did a damn fine job of hiding it. You know what happened by now: White claimed St. Pierre “owed” everyone an immediate rematch, the media attempted to steer Georges St. Pierre away from talking about the signs of brain damage he has been experiencing — despite St. Pierre’s best attempts to do otherwise — and White eventually talked to the champ in private before downplaying everything that St. Pierre admitted to experiencing as much as possible.

As Stand and Bang accurately wrote, “White’s behavior [was] so transparently morally repugnant that there’s no reason to spend time pedantically analyzing it.” He wanted to pressure GSP back into the cage as quickly as possible, because the longer the champion has to reflect upon the damage that he’s done to himself, the less likely he is to return to the sport. Yet there are actually fans — and plenty of them — who managed to take the bait. There are fans who buy the ideas that St. Pierre somehow “owes” it to anyone to accept a rematch against Johny Hendricks, that he’s obligated to return to the cage immediately, that Dana White’s dangerously-capitalistic treatment of his most influential champion is completely acceptable.

And let’s not forget the most disgusting part about this: These fans are delusional enough to say with a straight face that MMA is about “respect.”

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Post-UFC 167 News Roundup: Hendricks-GSP II, Koscheck’s Future, And More


(The pre-fight UFC 167 press conference. The belt didn’t change places. / Photo via Getty)

UFC 167 left a terrible taste in our mouths.

The card was exciting, and the main event, after the last round but before the decision was announced, seemed like it was going to be a passing of the torch. Instead, we got a terrible decision that overshadowed the celebratory atmosphere around the UFC’s 20th anniversary show.

Now, we’re left with more questions than answers. Here’s what we know so far:

Josh Koscheck suffered a brutal KO loss to Tyron Woodley. One might think that the UFC would let Koscheck go since he’s a 35-year-old on a three-fight losing streak and they’ve cut other fighters for less. Yet Koscheck is going to stay in the UFC, at least if he doesn’t retire.

Dana White said that Koscheck will not be cut, and also stated that he had a soft spot for TUF season 1 veterans (aww). However, White also mentioned that he received a text message from Koscheck which “sounded like retirement” but that sometimes fighters say things after fights, presumably things they don’t mean.

White, unhappy (an understatement) about the decision in the main event, also ranted about the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

“It used to be the best commission in the world…I’m fucking scared to come back here and do fights,” Yet, when pressed for specifics about how the UFC would proceed, White was mum. “What more can I do?” he said. “I just don’t know what else needs to be done. It’s unfortunate.”

Of course, the biggest issue we’re all waiting on is a rematch between Georges St.Pierre and Johny Hendricks. Will it happen?

Maybe.

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UFC 167: The Card That Doomed The Welterweight Division


(A seemingly victorious Hendricks celebrates immediately after the fifth round ended, before the judges decision was announced. / Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

UFC 167 left the welterweight division in a violent tailspin from which it might not recover.

Heading into the PPV, the UFC trotted out the tired “If you were to build a fighter that could beat [insert champion], it’d be [insert challenger]” marketing formula. True, challenger Johny Hendricks‘ great wrestling and powerful hands were a great stylistic matchup against champion Georges St.Pierre‘s takedowns and iffy chin. But the MMA world said the same things about Josh Koscheck. His wrestling was too good for GSP to take him down, and since GSP couldn’t take him down, Koscheck would make use of his advantage in striking power. This, of course, didn’t happen. GSP jabbed Koscheck’s orbital bone into splinters for 25 minutes.

So why should we have expected anything else from GSP-Hendricks? GSP was the dominant champ. Hendricks was the Guy to Beat GSP™ of the month; a challenger who was, in reality, no challenge at all.

This fight was intertwined with another: Rory MacDonald vs. Robbie Lawler.

Do you think it was a coincidence that Rory MacDonald and GSP were fighting on the same card? The UFC was likely hoping for both MacDonald and St.Pierre to be victorious. Dana White could fulfill his sick fantasy of watching teammates fight, and the UFC would have a highly bankable future title fight: Georges St.Pierre vs. Rory MacDonald, the fight that sells itself. The biggest star (according to Dana) in the UFC’s history would fight his protegee over the holy grail of MMA: A UFC title. Dana White insisted before UFC 167 that the fight was going to happen.

But you know the saying about the best laid schemes of mice and men (and fight promoters)…

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Dana White Announces That a Women’s (?) Strawweight Division (?!!) Is in the Works


(Strawweights: Willing to go the extra mile on weigh-in night, and that’s really all that matters. Photo via Bellator.)

Hold onto your butts, Potato Nation, because Dana White just dropped a bomb that will make your insides explode faster than the Denny’s Hobbit menu.

During a recent interview on FOX Sports.com’s “The Fighter & The Kid” podcast, The Baldfather announced that the UFC is currently “working on” putting together a women’s strawweight division, thanks in no small part to the emphatic success of The Ultimate Fighter 18:

“I’ll give you guys something nobody knows yet. We’re actually working on bringing in another division for the women, which I said would never happen for a long time,” White told hosts Brendan Schaub and Bryan Callen. “125 pounds or 145 pounds?” Schaub asked. “Neither . . . 115 pounds,” White replied.

“I never in a million years thought that it would take off the way that it has.”

When asked whether or not the significant downturn TUF ratings have taken over the past few weeks have weighed into his decision, White allegedly told Schaub to “go f*ck himself” before storming out of the room yelling “LALALALALA CAN’T HEAR YOU” with his fingers in his ears. Allegedly.

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Dana White Lends Some Credence to Chael Sonnen’s Lil Nog Jokes at the Expense of His Own Intelligence


(We would have also accepted “Luke Cummo.” Via The American Gangster’s twitter.) 

As you all know, Alexander Gustafsson was recently scheduled to take on Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (as we suggested) in a match that was in no way a gimme fight to set up Jones/Gustafsson II. Less than a week later, Lil’ Nog pulled out from the fight with a back injury — the fifth such time he has been forced to do so in his UFC career.

While most of us (ie. Chael Sonnen) were content to use Nogueira’s run of bad luck as the basis for several personal attacks on Twitter, Dana White recently revealed that the blame for what was quite possibly the shortest-lived fight in UFC history lies solely on his own shoulders, as Lil Nog never actually agreed to the fight in the first place. He tells MMAJunkie:

What happened was that night we decided to make the fight. Gustafsson said yes, and they couldn’t get hold of him, so I said, ‘F–k it,’ and just went with it and announced the fight, and of course, he’s hurt.

The fight isn’t for four months, and he’s already determined he’s hurt. I don’t understand that. The guy is always hurt. Every time you call him, he’s hurt.

While I typically draw the line when it comes to taking pot shots at a Nogueira, I do find it interesting that the younger, not-run-over-by-a-truck-as-a-child Nogueira has been battling more injury issues than the older, run-over-by-a-truck-as-a-child, arm-shattered-by-Frank-Mir Nogueira as of late. I’m not saying Sonnen’s onto something, but he kind of is, you guys.

Taking pot shots at Dana White, on the other hand….

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Post-Bellator 106 News Roundup: Bjorn Rebney Plans Another PPV, Alvarez Tweets Picture of F*cked Up Eye, and More


(The purple hue really brings out the chestnut color of Alvarez’s eyebrows. / via twitter)

The best Sundays are post-event Sundays. There’s tons of great articles to read about the valiant, violent displays of physical fortitude that occurred the night before.

Usually, there’s not enough interest in a Bellator card to warrant a slew of interesting sound bites and pictures. But Bellator 106 was different. Bellator 106 was the canceled PPV that became one of the most important free, non-UFC televised cards in MMA history. Let’s look at some of the fallout, the crucial and the just plain cool.

Dana White, predictably, had nothing positive to say about Bellator 106 (but that’s not just because he’s a jerk; the show really wasn’t that great). Bjorn Rebney responded to Dana’s comments about karmic justice like a shady Winnebago salesman, saying “If karma is that we just put on the best mixed martial arts fight I’ve ever seen, that’s karma I’ll take big boatloads of.”

Rebney had some other important statements. He pessimistically dismissed the future of Bellator’s “Ultimate Fighter” knockoff “Fight Master.” Typical of post-Viacom buyout Bellator, Rebney didn’t do this without taking a shot at the UFC.

“Reality fight TV is having its difficulties now. You can see it in the UFC’s ratings, they’re having the lowerst-rated TUF they’ve had in the history of the show,” he said (he was right, by the way).

Read about Bellator’s next PPV, King Mo’s surprising salary, and more after the jump.

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[VIDEO] Dana White Talks Bad Judging, Title Contenders & Much More at UFC 166 Post Event Press Scrum


UFC president Dana White spoke with assembled press after UFC 166 Saturday night in Houston. Per usual, all topics were on the table including judging, reffing, who is and isn’t on the chopping block and the future of the heavyweight and light heavyweight division title scene.

Who’s up next for Cain Velaszquez? Is there a chance Alexander Gustafsson and Daniel Cormier could fight next?

Check out Uncle Dana’s interesting and non-committal answers alike to these questions and more in the video above.

- Elias Cepeda

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Everyone Excited for Potential Nick Diaz vs. Michael Bisping Fight Except For, You Know, Nick Diaz


(Video via Fighters Only)

Earlier this week, Nick Diaz friend and teammate Gilbert Melendez (who fights Diego Sanchez this Saturday at UFC 166) offered his opinion that “I think with the right opportunity, for the right thing, [Diaz will] come out [of retirement].”

One-eyed British superstar Michael Bisping then shouted out on twitter that “if Diaz wants a fight at 185 I would happily welcome him to the division.”

UFC prez Dana White chimed in on twitter himself next saying that “I love that fight.”

With that, the rumor ball got rolling about a possible middleweight match up between Bisping and Diaz, who has not fought since March and who has not won since 2011. Bisping is currently sidelined by a serious eye injury. Nick, of course, has thus far stayed silent on the possible matchup with Bisping and is also in the midst of his second fake retirement.

The first came after he lost a close decision to Carlos Condit and was then suspended for a failed drug test, and the second and current one came after he lost a tough decision to welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre last March. Diaz is only thirty years old but has been fighting professionally since he was a teenager and appears weary of taking part in anything short of mega-fights at this point in his career.

So, there’s really no new developments in this story yet until Nick himself comes out and…no, wait, Mike Bisping wants to tell us all something and he wants to do it while cooking steaks in his home.

In the above video, Fighters Only magazine visits with their countryman Bisping at home while the cocky Brit cooks dinner for his family. Bisping once more accepts the theoretical fight with Diaz and also talks about several other issues. Highlights after the jump.

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