UFC president Dana White was contacted this afternoon by TMZ to enquire about whether or not Tito Ortiz would likely be let go from the promotion due to the felony domestic violence charges that were laid against "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" stemming from an alleged assault on his girlfriend Jenna Jameson this morning.
Zuffa president Dana White’s latest WEC: Aldo vs. Faber video blog is up, and besides the obligatory Pinkberry stop and hugs and handshakes with fighters, there are actually a few funny moments in this edition.
Here are the video’s Cliffs Notes highlights for anyone too Emo to bother to watch:
It looks like Round 5 is trying to get Dana to okay a prototype of an action figure version of him they did for their line of incredibly bad action figures. I’m not sure if they have the same guy who does caricatures at the mall do the concept drawings for these things or if maybe they commissioned the supposed award-winning sculptor from New Jersey that did chocolate Dana White to do up this non-likeness, but I doubt we’ll be seeing this version of DW immortalized in plastic on store shelves any time soon.
If you fast forward through to the end of the vid, you’ll see that contrary to popular belief about its demographic, the UFC’s reach extends far beyond Affliction-wearing, 20-something douchebags and has jumped the shark to the BDSM community. Seriously, who puts on a get-up like that, looks in the mirror and thinks, “Damn, I look good. I’m gonna go hang out at Pinkberry and see if I can’t meet Dana White.”
(The Navy was stumped, so they brought in Cyborg Soldier to plan the execution of "UFC: Warzone" in Afghanistan)
It looks like UFCs plans to hold a show for troops stationed in Afghanistan will happen sooner than later — the problem is, nobody will know for sure until days away from the event. According to a story in the Las Vegas Sun, keeping the date a secret is a security measure necessary for the safety of the soldiers and civilians who will be at the event.
UFC president Dana White says that that executing the "secret mission" will be a challenge but he’s looking forward pulling off the operation in spite of the reservations of some of his employees.
"We’re working on it right now. White said. It’s so crazy that they can’t tell us exactly where or when it would happen. The military is going to let us know when we can do it," White explained. "We’re going to chopper in at night. There are a lot of people who are scared. (Announcer Joe Rogan) said, ‘Oh (expletive), we’re going to do what?’ We’re going to fly in, set this thing up as fast as we can and get the (expletive) out of there."
(The signs were everywhere, including Jake’s FB and MySpace pages. How did we miss them?)
In an interview with All Headline News today, UFC president Dana White asserted that Strikeforce middleweight champ Jake Shields will be on his way to the Octagon sooner than later. Shields technically has one fight remaining on his SF contract, but it will likely expire before he has the opportunity to fulfill the obligation. White is confident that Shields, who definitely exited the promotion on a high note Saturday night with his dominant win over former PRIDE champion and UFC castaway Dan Henderson, will not be long testing free agent waters.
Although the wheels to add the 31-year-old Californian to the UFC’s stacked welterweight roster are not yet in motion, as soon as Strikeforce exercises its rights to re-sign Shields (something White is confident will likely not happen) he says the UFC will make an offer to the Cesar Gracie black belt.
“Jake Shields is definitely going to leave Strikeforce and he’s definitely coming to the UFC," White told AHN’s Shawn Krest.
The presence of Joe and Mike won’t be the only similarity between WEC 48 and a UFC pay-per-view. Apparently, Spike TV will be broadcasting two fights from the preliminary card, directly before the PPV broadcast: Former featherweight title challenger Leonard Garcia will welcome "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung into the WEC, while UFC vet Alex Karalexis faces off against Anthony Pettis, who scored the Knockout of the Night at WEC 47.
Just how bad was Anderson Silva‘s UFC 112 performance in Dana White’s eyes? So bad that DW hasn’t even seen anything worse in all his years watching boxing. That’s right. Boxing, playa. That’s why White tells ESPN‘s Jim Rome that he’s had enough of these embarrassing antics from his middleweight champ, and if he ever sees it again he will cut his ass.
Just take a second and let that sink in. Imagine Silva going and doing to Chael Sonnen (who, White confirms, he will face next) what he did to Demian Maia. Imagine him jumping around the cage in between fits of face-smashing, shouting things at Sonnen in Portuguese and imitating Chuck Norris’ fighting style. Then imagine him waking up the next morning, still the UFC 185-pound champ, but suddenly a free agent.
If that’s the situation that goes down, whose interests will have been served?
If Anderson Silva‘s inscrutable performance at yesterday’s UFC 112 left you feeling angry and cheated, Dana White feels your pain. White stormed out of the arena after the fourth round of Silva’s non-fight with Demian Maia, but not before dropping Silva’s championship belt off with the Spider’s manager, Ed Soares, refusing to deal with it himself. At the post-fight press conference, White ripped into the middleweight champ, telling media "I don’t think I’ve ever been more embarrassed in the ten years of being in this business." (Hmm. Does that sound familiar?) "I don’t know how yet," Dana continued, "but I will make this up to the fans that bought that shit tonight."
Having to repeatedly apologize for Anderson’s fights may have soured the UFC president on Silva permanently: "He said the other day that he wanted to cut to 170 and fight GSP. I don’t want to see that fight now. He doesn’t deserve to fight GSP…I’d like to say he lost his mind tonight, but this is the third time this has happened, this isn’t the first time."
Later, in an interview with Ariel Helwani, Dana called UFC 112 his lowest moment as president of the UFC, and appeared genuinely heartbroken that he had let down the people (and investors) of Abu Dhabi. It bothers him that he has to apologize to fans while Anderson seems to have no urge to do the same. Asked who he’d be interested to see Anderson fight next, White replied "Anderson doesn’t interest me right now."
With UFC president Dana White’s proclamation from the United Arab Emirates this week that should lightweight champion BJ Penn beat Frankie Edgar at UFC 112, he will have cleared out the division and will likely move up to try another run at the welterweight belt, many fans and pundits were left wondering, what about Gray Maynard?
To most, the tough undefeated Phoenix Arizona native seemed like a shoe-in for the next shot at his former Ultimate Fighter Season 5 coach’s belt, but he was inexplicably leapfrogged by Frankie Edgar for the title berth, despite the fact that Maynard handily defeated him two years ago at UFC Fight Night 13: Florian vs. Lauzon. It seems that White is in the minority in his opinion that “Maynard isn’t ready for a title fight yet,” as he told MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani in an interview on Thursday at the Concert Arena in Abu Dhabi.
According to Maynard, White’s remark comes as no surprise, and although he doesn’t necessarily agree with the sentiment, he says he’s willing to wait until he gets his shot.
It’s hard not to wonder if the heat in Abu Dhabi is getting to Dana White. In this chat with MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani, he casually mentions that he’s planning on going to an even more remote location for a UFC event this summer, and he doesn’t even care if the fights are recorded for posterity. That’s right, the UFC is headed to Afghanistan to put on an event for the troops stationed there, and the fact that they might not be able to film the action, let alone broadcast it to fans back home, seems less like a deal-breaker than a slight bummer to DW.
We have to ask, what are the fighters going to say when they’re told that they are all fighting in dark matches on the other side of the planet? And can the UFC, in conjunction with the U.S. military, truly assure that no one captures the action on a cell phone or a flip cam? Will we be dependent on an artist’s rendition to find out how things went? And what if the fight of the year happens on a card that no one has any footage of? Does it really make a sound?
(Well, well, well, fuckers. Image courtesy of Time.com.)
This morning, Time launched its 2010 TIME 100 Poll, in which online readers vote on the world’s most influential people of the year. It’s impressive enough that UFC president Dana White was chosen to be among the 201 politicians, entertainers, and assorted cultural leaders that are up for voting. It’s downright bizarre that as of a few minutes ago when I took the above screen-cap, Dana White was sitting on top of the freaking list, three spots above Barack Obama, 18 spots above Stephen Colbert, and 34 spots above Bill Gates. His only real competition at this point is Robert Pattinson, the poof from those vampire movies.
If this is an April Fool’s joke from Time.com, it’s an incredibly subtle and brilliant one. More likely, it’s just another sign that UFC fans are a group that’s both large and quickly mobilized on the Internet, and that Dana White has more nuthuggers that the president of our country. So let’s enjoy this odd little victory while we have it, because once Team Coco and the Colbert Nation get wind of this, it’s going to be a dogfight. To vote for Dana White as the most influential person in the world (!?), click here.
(And he was really looking forward to shoving a foreign currency into the G-string of a foreign stripper.)
Plans to hold UFC 115 in Vancouver may have been thwarted, according to a report by the Canadian Press, and instead the UFC may be heading to Cincinnati in June. The report states that though the UFC has been pushing hard to get Vancouver to be more open-minded about their particular brand of unarmed combat, “the deal fell through because the UFC and the city could not reach an agreement on other details around the show.”
If the report is true and the UFC really is abandoning the dream of Vancouver for the gritty, oil-stained reality of Cincinnati, we have no choice but to revisit the rumor that Rich Franklin – notTito Ortiz – will face Chuck Liddell at UFC 115. Dana White swears it isn’t true, and we all know that DW is not the type of man who would ever tell a convenient lie to help his business. Yet now the event that is supposed to feature the showdown between the two TUF coaches may be headed for Ace’s hometown. Seems just a tad bit suspicious, no?
(Ariel Helwani chats with Dana White, who says Carwin and Lesnar will face off on July 3 for the real heavyweight championship belt.)
Impressive performances at UFC 111 were worth an extra $65,000 to a few lucky fighters on Saturday night. Kurt Pellegrino nabbed the Submission of the Night bonus for his rear naked choke finish of Fabricio Camoes. Shane Carwin pocketed the Knockout of the Night bonus for battering Frank Mir into a surreal dream state, and prelim fighters Jared Hamman and Rodney Wallace got the nod for Fight of the Night after their three-round slobberknocker that resulted in a decision win for Hamman. Other notes to come out of UFC 111:
- Rousimar Palharessays he’s “really sorry” for injuring Tomasz Drwal’s knee by holding on to that heel hook, but the apology isn’t good enough for the state of New Jersey. The local commission issued Palhares a 90-day suspension for not letting go of the submission more promptly.
No sooner do we get pumped up aboutJunior Dos Santos’s suggestion that he take on Cain Velasquez in a heavyweight title contender eliminator match than the idea gets shot down from the man at the top. As much as we hate to admit it, Dana White’s reasoning for refusing to make the fight are sound. The UFC knows as well as anyone that injuries, illnesses, and easy movie roles can wreak havoc on the best laid plans, so why take a chance on knocking down an established contender like Velasquez just to give him something to do while he waits for his title shot? It’s sensible, it’s prudent, and it’s somewhat disappointing. Can’t say we didn’t see it coming, though.
So who will Dos Santos get instead while he waits around for the top heavyweights to fight it out? Well, the guy in the crowd who suggested Cheick Kongo is obviously a sick individual who’s trying to get the Frenchman killed, so let’s table that idea right now. Instead, the loser of Shane Carwin-Frank Mir is a very attractive option, or perhaps even Todd Duffee if he posts a win in his next bout.
Or we could get really crazy and match Dos Santos up against the winner of Roy Nelson-Stefan Struve, meaning we either get a rematch between the Dutch beanpole and the guy who gave him a rude welcome to the UFC, or we get “Big Country” vs. “Big Scary Brazilian.” What, too crazy for you guys?
(You can skip through the first 2:45, unless you really can’t get enough of Dana White busting chops and complaining about incompetent employees.)
You have to love these Canadian MMA fans. Dana White goes to a Q&A session in a mall in Toronto (presumably the same one where he admitted that the UFC’s design team had caved to Chinese interests), and their questions are all so…good. Calm, measured, reasonable queries about the state of MMA in Ontario, and what DW has planned for the future.
My question is, if “Rampage” Jackson, Evans (theoretically, anyway), Lyoto Machida, and “Shogun” Rua are the guys Jones might face after he’s had three more fights over the next year, who’s he supposed to beat up in the meantime? You could make a case for Ryan Bader or maybe even our old friend K-Sos, but more than one or two of those fights and it’s going to start to feel like he’s treading water.
(Now you see some incoherent scrawling, now you don’t.)
Whether you’re putting together a fight poster or the cover of Teen Vogue, airbrushing is just something you do. I mean, you didn’t think Georges St. Pierre‘s cheekbones were really that breathtaking, did you? But UFC 111 is the first time in recent memory that a fighter’s tattoos have been airbrushed out. Above you see one version of the UFC 111 poster featuring Dan Hardy‘s Sanskrit tattoo of a Tibetan Buddhist prayer, and another version with his stomach looking as clean as the belly of a starless Sneetch. So what gives?
Good news: The Danavlog is back, baby. Bad news: It might be the worst one yet. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourself for a full seven minutes of Dana White busting the balls of Marty Cordova, who forgot his passport on the way to Canada. Seriously, the whole thing takes place in the cabin of their private jet, and that’s all that happens. Luckily, we can hit the pause button as soon as the bullying insult-routine becomes too grating; unfortunately, Dana’s employees can’t hit pause on their own lives. One of these days, Marty or that "Morzo" guy behind him is going to snap and tell Dana to go fuck himself, and Dana is going to be dumbfounded, and Lorenzo Fertitta will be cracking up, and through his laughter Lorenzo will ask Dana if he’s going to take that from an employee, and Dana will take his shock pen and shock Marty (or whoever) to death, and then he and Lorenzo will have to bury the body somewhere, and at that moment Lorenzo will realize that Dana can’t be controlled, even if he’s just a minority owner on paper, and no that’s not a subplot from Goodfellas, that’s a completely original scenario that I just made up, so suck it.
Semi-related: After a brief period of reconciliation, the UFC has indefinitely denied press credentials to Dana’s old rival, Sherdog.com. When asked by Josh Gross to explain the reason for the re-ban, Dana White responded, "none of your [expletive] business."
Well now we don’t know what to believe. Here’s Dana, denying the recent Chuck vs. Rich rumors via Twitter. He goes on to say that "Nothing happened to Tito. Tito and I are cool." Good to know. Still, could all of these reports have been inaccurate? Why the weirdness from Tito lately? Is Randy bummed that he won’t be getting James Toney?
Guys, we had the craziest dream last night. We dreamed that the UFC signed James Toney to a multi-fight deal and he was actually training with…HOLY SHIT, NOOOOOOOOO! This isn’t happening! This isn’t happening!
Anyway, here’s some more notes about the aspiring porn star known as Dark Gable…
— Toney’s UFC contract would still allow him to box. Said Dana White: "If we promote him and he does well and that raises his profile and he gets a [Vitali] Klitschko fight and makes a lot of money for himself…I’d be cool with that."
— What’s more, this is the caliber of fight that Toney expects to get during his run in the Octagon. As he told Yahoo!, “I’m a main event fighter and I’ve been a main event fighter since before a lot of these punk-(expletive) fighters were out of the crib. Don’t give me that (expletive) about fighting on the undercard. People want to see James Toney and I’m going to give them what they want.”
So we’re sending this guy to interview Dana White, but the guy isn’t really very likable or well-dressed or even remotely photogenic. What should we do? I know, let’s have him wear sunglasses inside and act like a total jerk. That will solve all out problems!
This, we can only assume, was the thought process behind this interview with Dana White to discuss the UFC’s “Undisputed 2010” video game. The result is predictably cloying, and all we really learn is that 2010 is better than its predecessor, which is a) sort of expected, and b) what DW would say even if it weren’t. Then, because this whole thing was apparently plotted by junior high students who only know one way to end a skit, it culminates in an act of fake violence. And what’s most disappointing? Not one mention of the inclusion of Kimbo Slice haymakers. What a missed opportunity.
At least now we know that the difficulty we had understanding James Toney’s previous video rants was not the result of poor video equipment and low production value. Dark Gable showed up on the Versus show "Sports Soup" to deliver yet another Dana White/UFC call-out, and once again we only understood every fourth word. Something about candy and Chuck Liddell being "daddy’s little girl." Other than that it was like trying to understand a voicemail that your very drunk friend left you at three a.m. You know he’s saying something about what a bitch his ex-girlfriend is, but the details remain hazy.
The most interesting thing about this is that it happened on Versus, which is the UFC’s newest cable network sweetheart. That’s not to say that the UFC necessarily instructed them to let Toney wander into their studio and then refuse to leave, but chances are good that they probably did not disapprove of the free publicity either, or else it might never have happened at all. Now we just sit back and wait for Toney’s guest spot on Spike TV’s "Blue Mountain State," where he ambles into the frame to interrupt a date rape scene by calling out "Simba Spice" and imploring the UFC to get their money right and make him a real offer.
There was a time when you had to be a well-connected MMA journalist to keep tabs on where fighters were training and who their next opponents would be. Now you can do what we do — stay in bed with your laptop all day and follow them on Twitter. We call that progress. In case you’re not as tweet-obsessed as us, or if you’re simply too old to understand what the social-networking site is — ‘sup, dad — here’s what to do: Start an account, follow twitter.com/cagepotatomma, then start adding the pages below, which represent the 25 most informative and entertaining MMA-related Twitter feeds currently in operation. Your life will change in ways you never expected. And so, in alphabetical order…
twitter.com/allelbows Bio: "mma shooter" Known for her artfully crafted action shots and revealing portraiture, Esther Lin might be the greatest MMA photographer working today. Lately she’s been juggling gigs for MMAFighting, Strikeforce and Showtime, and the best of her work can always be found on her website, allelbows.com. Follow Esther’s tweets for photo updates and observations from her life behind the lens. Sample tweet: "Fighters Are Dirty: the toilet in my hotel photoshoot room has pee all over it! Guys! Lift up the seat or aim better!"
twitter.com/amirmma Bio: "Winner of The Ultimate Fighter 7" It turns out that Amir Sadollah‘s awkward brand of ultra-dry humor is perfectly suited to short bursts of 140 characters or less. Like most UFC fighters, he spends a lot of time tweeting about publicity appearances and food. Unlike most UFC fighters, he somehow manages to make it all genuinely entertaining. Sample tweet: "Yes Macs are expensive. But you can’t get a virus with them so I save money on condoms."
twitter.com/AriannyCeleste Bio: "im not that cool. lover not a fighter." Thanks to Twitter, stalking hot chicks has never been easier! UFC ring-girl goddess Arianny Celeste takes the guesswork out of our unhealthy obsession with her by generously sharing details about where she is, who she’s with, and what she’s doing, pretty much at all times. Also: Bikini pics and bikini pics and bikini pics. Why go anywhere else? Sample tweet: "http://twitpic.com/112o0r – On my way 2 see an agency. Hope they like me, if not I’ll kick them in the groin area n give em stank eye."
(Chael Sonnen explains that it’s the Ultimate *Fighting* Championship, not the Ultimate Mitt-Hitting, High-Altitude Training, Flipping a Tire Around, Screaming the Word "Yes" Championship. Props: MMA Fighting)
Following an expectation-exceeding night of action at UFC 109, the UFC handed out $60,000 pay-bumps to the following competitors:
Fight of the Night: Chael Sonnen and Nate Marquardt, for their bloody 15-minute grind, in which Sonnen survived a nasty choke attempt in the third round to secure the decision victory and earn a middleweight title shot.
Knockout of the Night:Matt Serra, for beating down Frank Trigg and proving that his hands are always dangerous, even if they’re on the end of very short arms.
Submission of the Night: Paulo Thiago, for putting Mike Swick to sleep with a D’Arce choke after knocking him to the mat in the second round of their fight. Thiago: 2, AKA: 1.
If the internet age has taught us anything, it’s that by the time you start posting videos of yourself pleading for someone to give you something, you have passed a point of no return. For whatever reason, people stop taking your requests seriously once they see you shouting into a cheap video camera while your boys mill around impatiently behind you. Bonus points if you pause your video rant to say hello to a "beautiful girl" off camera who may or may not actually exist, and may or may not actually be beautiful.
If I could ask the internet to grant me one wish, it would be for someone to break into Brock Lesnar‘s home, tie him to a chair, force him to watch this video, and record his reaction for us all to see. I realize that’s a tall order, but maybe we could get Big Stacks there to do it. If he’s James Toney’s bodyguard, I’m guessing he’s done a lot crazier stuff for a lot less reward.
George Orwell once said, “To see what is front of one’s nose needs a really good internet video editor.” Since he said this long before the invention of the internet, it probably confused the hell out of people. But as this new video from Lookoutawhale demonstrates, once more Orwell turns out to be right and everyone who doubted him feels like an idiot.
It’s not that we didn’t know how dramatically Dana White’s opinion of a guy can change once the opportunity to make money off of him presents itself. He’s a fight promoter. Hyping stuff, sometimes through gross exaggerations of the truth, is what he does. We knew this. But something about seeing the contrast between what DW claimed to believe about Kimbo Slice before he was in the UFC and what he had to say about him after he signed on for "The Ultimate Fighter" really slammed the point home. White is a salesman, and salesmen tend to value honesty less than they value sales.
Again, we knew this. It’s just probably a good idea to remind ourselves every once in a while.
"We were trying to not go the same night as boxing but these [expletive] guys can’t get out of their own way," White told Cagewriter. "I have never seen anything so unorganized, selfish and dysfunctional as boxing. It’s a joke!"
We can only assume that’s an edited quote, and that the full version features White going off on an ‘inconsiderate’ John Mayer for scheduling a concert in Florida on the same night as UFC 109 in Las Vegas, before then turning his ire on the ‘complete morons’ who run Disney on Ice.
Canadian socialized medicine may have tried to kill Brock Lesnar or at least end his career, but after an agonizing few weeks the big man "healed [him]self" and will return this summer to face the winner of the Shane Carwin-Frank Mir fight. This is what we learned during Lesnar’s appearance on "Sportscenter" today.
Sitting beside Dana White and wearing a t-shirt laden with all the usual sponsors (Fusion Ammo, Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, etc.), Lesnar explained the entirety of his long medical odyssey from an early misdiagnosis to a collapse in Canada that left him at the mercy of lousy Canuck doctors, to his return to the U.S. where good old American doctors prepared to put him under the knife to fix his diverticulosis, which would have cursed him with a colostomy bag and ended his career. But, after laying for days on end in the hospital and losing forty pounds, he went to get a second opinion, which also called for surgery.
Lesnar went home, returned to the gym and put some weight back on, and when he came back to the hospital on January 5 it was, "a miracle; they were dumbfounded. They couldn’t find any signs of any problems in my stomach."
(This may be your best chance yet to hear the phrase ‘pencil-necked geek’ said aloud on ESPN.)
Change of plans, Potato Nation. Remember that press conference this week where Dana White said Brock Lesnar would be in attendance to fill us in on his health status and future fighting prospects? Yeah, that’s not happening anymore. Instead he’ll be appearing on Wednesday’s edition of "Sportscenter" on ESPN, where he’ll probably do the bare minimum in terms of answering questions while also making it very clear that this was not his idea. Lesnar’s scheduled to appear at 11 am EST, but if we’ve learned anything by sitting around in hotel rooms and watching ESPN in a constant loop, it’s that you’ll probably be able to catch it throughout the day, just like you’ll probably be really sick of all the clever one-liners about last night’s NBA games by noon.