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Tag: Dana White

Rampage is Back and Everything is Juuuuust Fine

Rampage Jackson and UFC president Dana White
(Just a couple of perfectly sane guys hanging out. Photo courtesy of Combat Lifestyle.)

Suddenly former UFC champ “Rampage” Jackson is his normal self again. He showed up at yesterday’s UFC 87 press conference, laughing and joking and acting as if nothing unusual had happened. The UFC seems intent on downplaying the whole situation, even the really difficult parts, such as the woman who miscarried some time after being hit in Jackson’s “delirium”-fueled car chase. Dana White is even helping out, though maybe he shouldn’t:

“That one is out there like, ‘He hit her and she lost her baby,’ ” White said. “It was a week later. He knocked her mirror off her car. Rampage said, and he’ll tell you when you talk to him, ‘I care about everybody. I care about all life. I would never hurt anybody.’

“That’s the way he is,” White said. “Now he’s in a situation where somebody’s trying to civil sue him and make some money. Absolutely not. Absolutely not, this is not a criminal thing. No way. I’m no lawyer and I’m no judge, (but) this stuff will be worked out in the court.”

Not sure if blaming the victim in a hit-and-run is the best tactic, even if you believe she’s trying to take advantage of the situation. Then again, that is Dana White’s style. Losing your baby a week after being hit by a pro fighter in his run from the law, that’s just something you have to work through. The question is, do you want to be a f-cking mother?

Rampage didn’t discuss that particular situation with reporters, but did comment briefly on the situation with trainer Juanito Ibarra who, it was pointed out, was something of a father figure to the champ before their split:

“That’s what hurts,” Jackson said. “I can’t say. You guys will find out soon enough.”

We will? Care to give us the exact date on which we’ll find out? Because I hate being kept in suspense like this.

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The Gambling Man’s Guide to UFC 87


(That’s not the face of a man you want to bet against, is it?)

You can learn a lot about life by gambling on sporting events over the internet. Mostly what you learn is that oddsmakers and bookies are smarter than you 90% of the time. The key is knowing that you know less than the oddsmakers and bookies and working around it (I think Socrates said that). Another thing you can learn is that some people actually bet on preseason football. Seriously. You might as well bury your life savings in the backyard and hope it grows into a money tree. At least that way you know where it is.

Fortunately for the off-shore gambling economy, UFC 87 is a stacked and somewhat unpredictable card, so the temptation to try and win some cash is almost irresistible. Our odds today come from Betus.com, and as always you should read Damon Durante’s MMA Betting for ‘Tards if you still don’t know how odds work.

Georges St. Pierre (-350) vs. Jon Fitch (+250)

It’s not exactly shocking to see GSP as the favorite, but the way people have been jumping on the Fitch bandwagon of late, claiming that he presents all kinds of new problems for the champ, I’m surprised the line isn’t a little closer. But there’s a reason it’s not. GSP is an incredible athlete who seems to be at the height of his powers, both mentally and physically. Fitch’s greatest strength is his wrestling, and you aren’t going to outwrestle GSP. Ask Josh Koscheck and Matt Hughes. You certainly aren’t going to finish him that way, and five rounds worth of trying for takedowns is going to leave you vulnerable to catching knee-in-the-face disease, which is known to be fatal to your title hopes.

A guy with Fitch’s natural ability always has a shot, but not one I’d want to bet on. If you do though, that’s cool. Maybe poverty will be good for you.

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Dana White Slams Huerta, Dines with Perfectly Sane Rampage Jackson


Dana White’s UFC 87 Video Blog – Watch more free videos

Dana White’s video blog is back, and it picks up steam around the 3:34 mark when he sits down to dinner with Rampage Jackson, who is totally “not crazy”. Just suffering from some “delirium”, as it turns out, but otherwise seems to be back to his old self. But don’t worry, the Dana White news update doesn’t stop there.

White appeared on a radio show recently (download the full version here, via Bloody Elbow) in which he has some sharp words for Roger Huerta. As you might have guessed, he is not pleased with Huerta’s comments bashing the organization’s treatment of him, and White responds by painting Huerta as an overhyped prima dona. And who overhyped him? The UFC, of course. But that doesn’t mean he should believe it, according to White:

“Roger Huerta’s a guy who’s been reading the headlines a little too much. You get out there and promote the guy and he’s like, “Look at all the papers I’m in, look at all the promotion I’m getting, I want a lot more money.’ Well he hasn’t fought anybody to get the money yet. He beats Kenny Florian, that’s a whole different ballgame.”

“Roger Huerta has contract problems? What’s his contract problem? He signed a contract, he’s under contract, when his contract is up he’ll renegotiate a new one. …What he was bitching about was doing PR. In his thing he said, ‘They got me out there doing PR.’ Yeah, moron. How do you think you make money? You don’t make money unless people know who you are and want to see you fight. Am I supposed to pay Roger Huerta to go out and do PR? Is that how it works?”

“That’s not how it works. When Oscar De La Hoya fights, he’s on Leno and Letterman. The night before his fight, he weighs in in Las Vegas, and then flies to Los Angeles to do PR for the fight. Because he makes more money. Because he becomes more popular and more people want to see him fight. …What happens is these guys turn into pussies, is what happens.”

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Ben vs. Ben: The UFC 87 Argument


(Next big thing, or MMA’s Ryan Leaf?)

With a blockbuster UFC 87 lineup as our fodder, it’s time again for Cage Potato’s editors to argue like an old married couple that only got hitched because of an unexpected pregnancy. We don’t love each other and yet we don’t know enough to expect better from our lives, so here we are. In this edition we debate topics such as what’s to become of Brock Lesnar on Saturday night and beyond, who will be the number one lightweight contender when the dust finally settles, will Rampage Jackson be back in the UFC any time soon, and more. Let’s grimly get it on.

Will Brock Lesnar revive his MMA career with this fight, or will he officially be a bust once UFC 87 is in the books?

Fowlkes: Clearly the UFC isn’t interested in giving Brock Lesnar a lay-up to help jumpstart his MMA career, and you have to respect that. Heath Herring is tough and experienced and, had a couple things gone differently for him, he could easily be the top heavyweight contender right now instead of Frank Mir, who won all of two straight fights to achieve that distinction.

Lesnar is a physical specimen who is athletically gifted, this we know. But what else do we know about him? He hates airplanes and gays, prizes staying home, and is vulnerable to submissions. Basically, we don’t know what he’s really capable of as an MMA fighter. Strength won’t be enough against Herring (who will have spent the last couple months drilling his wrestling if he has any sense at all) and strength is about all we can count on from Lesnar at this point.

Herring is too crafty a veteran to get overwhelmed by pure power. He’s going to pick Lesnar apart on the feet and submit him late in the second or early in the third, and when he does you should turn up your TV so you can actually hear the air going out of Lesnar’s hype balloon. The UFC will give him a young up-and-comer next, just to see what he has left, but this is the point where he goes from a top prospect to another guy fighting for contract survival.

Goldstein: Yeah, Herring’s probably been drilling his wrestling. You know who else has been drilling his wrestling? Brock Lesnar. I wouldn’t be surprised if either fighter pulled a win out of this match, but there’s one thing that’s guaranteed: At some point, Herring will be taken down and put on his back. Seriously.

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Dana White’s Video Blog Should Really Be More Interesting Than This

Yesterday we referred you to the first edition in Dana White’s UFC 87 video blog (a vlog, if you will). If you missed it, allow me to sum up: he sat around in his office for two minutes talking about how excited he was for UFC 87. Yeah, not exactly “Citizen Kane”. The second edition is above, and while it’s an improvement in the sense that he actually does stuff, it’s still incredibly boring. Sure, he flies around in an awesome private jet, but didn’t we already know or at least assume he did that? Where are the escorts and live animals that I always imagined were on that plane with him? Where’s the magic?

It would be fine if I really believed that Dana White’s life were this uninteresting, but I don’t. I’m sure there are plenty of great moments throughout each day that involve him yelling into a cell phone and threatening to crush people, then actually crushing those people, then auditioning new Octagon girls without the intention of hiring any, then having some lunch.

But we don’t get any of that. We get him standing in a hotel room and talking us through his daily schedule, which is always going to be boring unless you’re someone like Gary Busey and your schedule involves you being batshit crazy all day.

I really hope this thing picks up a little momentum as we get closer to the event, because this sounds like a great idea. But right now it just looks like someone convinced him to give up two minutes of every day in non-consecutive stretches, and the result is a tired, cranky Dana White and a bored audience. Maybe time for a special guest star in the next episode? My money’s on GSP.

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Exclusive Interview: Kenny Florian

UFC fighter Kenny Florian
(Whose house? KenFlo’s house.)

As MMA fighters go, Kenny Florian is as intelligent and articulate a guy as you can hope to find. He’s also a workaholic and an ever-evolving bad-ass in the cage, and his next test against the formidable Roger Huerta should answer any lingering questions as to who deserves to be the UFC’s top lightweight contender. Whether B.J. Penn will stick around to defend his 155-pound title, well, that’s another issue altogether.

In this exclusive interview with KenFlo we discuss training strategies, Roger Huerta’s apparent dissatisfaction with the UFC, being an ESPN MMA analyst, and more.

CagePotato.com: Hey Kenny, thanks for talking with me. How has your training for this fight been going?

Everything’s been going really well. My training camp was awesome. I really didn’t take too much time off. After the Lauzon fight I think I was back in the gym the following week and I wasn’t completely pleased, technically speaking, with my performance, so I wanted to get right back in the gym and improve on those things. With all the commitments I had before this fight, the traveling and all that, I’m glad I got a jump on it early.

What were you displeased with about your performance against Lauzon?

Joe Lauzon just shouldn’t have taken me down like he did. That was the main thing, was the wrestling angle of it. I just wanted to get back and get my hands on a quality wrestling coach so I could really improve in that area. It’s one thing to be able to do it in training, but it needs to be second nature in order for you to use it when you need it in a fight. So I found a great wrestling coach who’s just been a phenomenal addition to my team.

I’ve just been working on a lot of the fundamentals of wrestling, both defensively and offensively, and working on making sure I’m doing things right technically. With wrestling in particular you get a lot of people who will tell you ‘Oh, you should do it this way or that way,’ but having a world class guy to show you this is the way it should be done and here’s why, it gets it into your muscle memory and makes you a stronger fighter.

What do you think Roger Huerta’s greatest strength is as a fighter?

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UFC Could Return to Montreal By Year’s End

Georges St. Pierre UFC MMA Montreal

Dana White has told The Canadian Press that the UFC hopes to return to Montreal in November or December:

“I literally just left a meeting where we were talking about that,” UFC president Dana White told The Canadian Press on Tuesday. “We’re looking to come back to Montreal.”

The UFC’s Canadian debut — “Serra vs. St. Pierre 2″ in April — was a record-breaking event, drawing 21,390 fans to Montreal’s Bell Centre for a gate of $5 million. With a superfight between hometown boy Georges St. Pierre and BJ Penn being discussed for the end of the year, it may be wise to begin making arrangements; if GSP beats Jon Fitch on Saturday, we wouldn’t be surprised if White makes an announcement about the UFC’s next Montreal card shortly after. Said White: “Obviously B.J. is pulling for GSP because he wants to fight him.”

In the same article, White discussed the condition of beleaguered former light-heavyweight champ Quinton Jackson, telling The Canadian Press that Rampage is A-OK:

“It wasn’t psychiatric at all, it was physical,” said White. “He had a physical condition — exhaustion, dehydration that caused delirium.”

White said Jackson, a California native, had remained in Las Vegas for a week after the fight and was fasting — living on energy drinks alone.

“Bad combination,” said White. “Physically and mentally he’s OK. Now he’s got some legal problems, obviously.”

Well sure, exhaustion and dehydration can cause delirium, but what could compel a person to fast and go on a Brawndo bender until they’re exhausted and dehydrated? Could it have maybe, possibly have been a psychiatric issue? See, you didn’t think about that, did you?

(Props: TKO Extreme)

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Quick Hits: IFL Fighters to Affliction, Great MMA Book Reviews, and Dana White’s Net Worth


(‘Who has the nachos? Don’t act like I don’t know nachos when I smell ‘em!’)

After reports that Zuffa was buying the video library and at least some of the IFL’s fighter contracts, we kept expecting the flood of stories about all the ex-IFL’ers making the jump to either the UFC or WEC. So far news has been relatively light on that front, but it looks like Affliction has swooped in to pick off a couple of top prospects for themselves.

MMANews.com reports that Roy Nelson will face Xtreme Couture’s Jay White at Affliction: DoR (the abbreviations have already begun, deal with it) in October. Nelson was the IFL’s only official heavyweight champ, and White is…2-5. Wonder which of these guys is being groomed for a big future in the stacked Affliction heavyweight division?

Meanwhile, Sherdog is passing along info that a rematch with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has been offered to IFL light heavyweight champ Vladimir Matyushenko. Vladdy beat Little Nog via decision in 2002, and he never faced much of a test during his unbeaten run in the IFL. Matyushenko would make an excellent addition to the growing 205-pound ranks in Affliction, which should soon include Tito Ortiz, who Matyushenko lost a decision to in 2001.

In other news…

- Fightlinker has enlisted the services of Matthew Polly — author of this hilarious and highly recommended book — to review several of the MMA “memoirs” that have hit the shelves in recent months. Polly does to their sense of narrative and craft (and their ghostwriters’ sense of exactly how much work they’d have to do to get paid) what these same fighters would likely do to the face of anyone who uses words like narrative and craft. Fun times. Check out his review of “Iceman: My Fighting Life” and you’ll see what we mean.

- Ever wondered how rich Dana White really is? Well, rich. But Wall Street Fighter tries to nail down a solid figure. It’s actually harder than it sounds, although their photoshop of the UFC Prez is just adorable.

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New Athletic Commission Chairwoman Could Be Key to MMA in New York

After the UFC’s lobbying efforts failed to get MMA legalized in New York, Zuffa’s Marc Ratner vowed not to give up so easily. Not long afterwards, Melvina Lathan was named as the new chairwoman for the New York State Athletic Commission, and guess what? She seems friendly to the UFC’s cause, despite being a "boxing purist" according to a recent Newsday article:

"I would hope that New York would keep an open mind," Lathan said. "There’s room for two sports. I’m a boxing purist and I will always be, but I truly believe MMA is a sport all of its own. I think the more people are educated about it, the more they understand it and accept it."

The article goes on to tell the story of Lathan growing up in Philadelphia, where she would peek into a local boxing gym on her way home from school. One day a man opened the door and invited her inside to watch. Turns out the man was Sonny Liston, or so the story goes. Ratner describes Lathan as "a wonderful asset to the sport" and implies that she’ll be the boost they need to get MMA legalized when the Tourism, Arts, and Sports Development Committee revisits it in January. But not everyone is pleased with Lathan’s appointment:

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Lost Contact to Blame For Jackson’s Hit and Run?


(‘See, what had happened was…’)

Oh, the fun one can have trying to keep track of all the different theories about what’s really happening with “Rampage” Jackson. Fightline has a new one. A really new one:

Our source indicates that Jackson was fumbling around with a contact lens that was giving him trouble while driving and subsequently lost the lens. He was apparently searching for it when he sideswiped at least two vehicles, mildly injuring one woman.

A frightened, paranoid Jackson, who had again, been up fasting for days, then acted on instinct and fled the scene and eventually the police.

Jackson pulled over after giving police a brief chase and was fully cooperative with authorities after that point.

This is an interesting possibility. It doesn’t explain why he was picked up by the police again after being released, or why everyone from Dana White to Sports Illustrated to, well, us, has insinuated or outright said that there are some mental issues going on as well. Maybe it’s both? The lost contact and lost perception of reality is a powerful duo. Either way, we hope for a happy ending to this strange tale.

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