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UFC 102 Press Conference Recap: Dana White Talks Penn vs. Sanchez, Lighter Weight-Classes, Those Showtime Bastards


("One more question, then I gotta get the fuck out of here. Yes, Helen Thomas. What’s on your mind, gorgeous?" Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

The UFC held a press conference yesterday in Portland to discuss tomorrow night’s UFC 102 card, as well as other issues related to the organization’s future. Some highlights…

– Even though the UFC already has two events slated for November — UFC 105 (11/14, Manchester) and UFC 106 (11/21, Las Vegas) — Dana White revealed that a third November show was in the works, to be headlined by the lightweight championship fight between BJ Penn and Diego Sanchez; Penn/Sanchez was originally reported as the main event for #105. And get this: White said the tentative third November event wouldn’t be broadcast on pay-per-view or Spike. Could a network TV deal be in the works? “Wait and see boys… if I can pull this one off,” White said. "We’ve never had more [network] interest than right now. Obviously, I think all the hard work we’ve done over nine years and UFC 100 had a big part in it, too. I’m pretty confident we’re gonna have a deal very, very soon. I like what I’m hearing now more than I ever did before."

– Dana White may seem determined to counter-program Strikeforce to extinction, but his hostility has nothing to do with Scott Coker. Honestly. As he told reporters, “I’m not anti-Strikeforce, I don’t dislike those guys. I dislike Showtime, that’s who I dislike. I think they’re dicks, I don’t like them. I don’t like their attitude; they think they are better than they really are…The guy over at Showtime who I’m talking about knows who he is and I dislike him very much and my beef is with him, not really Strikeforce. They sucked at boxing, they got their ass kicked by HBO always at boxing yet they tried to stay in it. They got their ass kicked by HBO in programming, but they’re still around and they’re going to get their ass kicked in mixed martial arts too, just not by HBO.”


– When asked if the UFC would be adding any more weight classes, White said “If we do any more weight classes, it’s gonna be lower, adding lighter weight classes…probably real soon." So does that mean the WEC will be folding into the UFC? “It doesn’t really mean that, but…What that means is I’ve gotta figure some shit out.” In reference to a Kevin Iole article that called Zuffa’s decision to keep the UFC and WEC separate a "grievous mistake," White said “I don’t disagree with (the) article…Even with all the things that we know how to do and the deal we have with Versus, which is a great deal, it’s still hard to make money and pay the guys what they deserve to get paid, or what they think they deserve to get paid and to run the business and make it a profitable business.”

– UFC 102 could determine the next title contenders in two divisions. "Obviously the winner of [Couture vs. Nogueira] is in the mix," White said. "These are two of the best heavyweights in the world." As for the next challenger to Anderson Silva‘s middleweight belt? "I’m trying to figure out myself to be honest with you," White said. "I think what I’m going to do is, I’m going to see what happens on Saturday, see how this fight goes between Nate and Demian, and I’ll figure it out after."

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831 Son- August 28, 2009 at 1:12 pm
^meant to say that.
reddog- August 28, 2009 at 1:01 pm
@831son

They are on cable TV. It's a channel known as "Spike TV"

The word you are looking for is broadcast TV.
831 Son- August 28, 2009 at 12:26 pm
J-Dog, cable TV will grow the sport instantly and it will get more huge sponsors, thus creating millions in revenue and fans.
Da Spied Her- August 28, 2009 at 11:40 am
UFC on Cartoon Network. I calls it!!!
Bovice- August 28, 2009 at 11:37 am
@Bringbackbabalu

You're totally right. If Hendo really doesn't get the next shot at Silva, that's gonna be some bullshit.
WithoutRemorse- August 28, 2009 at 9:39 am
Could this be a TV deal between megalomaniacs DW and Mark Cuban? Billionaire + soon to be Billionaire = world TV domination. Or do we think its going to be more legit... Like ABC, CBS, NBC?... either way I'd be pretty happy to not have to pay 45 per fight... if you have watched all of them which im damn close. (examine the math skillz here people) it would be near $4500 ive paid to watch the UFC. HDNet make sense.... but i guess so does ESPN... either way.. im stoked.

Also...
Randy
Nate
Vera
Thiago
dont care bout the rest... but I would like to see Ed Herman win for a change... I like that guy and i'm not sure why.


J-Dog- August 28, 2009 at 9:27 am
I have no idea how TV broadcasting works... but can you really make MORE money getting a "network deal" and putting your fights on free cable than you can making people pay $45 a pop with PPV? Man, I'd LOVE to see free UFC events on Spike, HDNet, or broadcast TV (NBC, etc). That would rock. I'm glad he said "not HBO" because I'm a cheap bastard and I'd hate to have to have to subscribe to HBO just for UFC.
Mike Milbury- August 28, 2009 at 9:15 am
@PurplePickle: Come on, dude, quit trolling. CP do ship those shirts in a relatively timely fashion. Relative to evolution or the birth of the planet.
PurplePickle- August 28, 2009 at 9:03 am
Dana was alluding to a network deal, not just counter programming, at the 101 post fight press conference (Dana said Oct. not Nov. at the time), and nobody picked up on it except half drunk little ol' me. I posted it in the comments of the 101 live blog. I was breaking news, bitches.

Now if you will excuse me, I'm going to go start my own site called 'Cage Pickle' where I don't use the Sun for sources, Kimo lives, and I give people the t-shirts that they win in a relatively timely fashion.
portland mma- August 28, 2009 at 8:58 am
I just got my tickets yesterday too, thank you guys. I'm stoked for this card, the headlining fight might not be the greatest ever and it may be a few years too late but the card as a whole (including the undercard) is pretty sick.
ReDx- August 28, 2009 at 8:53 am
DW hasn't forgotten about Hendo. He's got to play up this fight as something bigger because it will give the impression that something is on the line. All that talk is just marketing.
Mike Milbury- August 28, 2009 at 8:38 am
@ArmFarmer: I think even without the WEC, the UFC cards have been watered down. I hate to say it because all these fighters deserve to make making a living in the sport they love, but a good portion of the current UFC roster could be let go and the promotion would just as good as it currently is.

Or maybe it's just Joe Silva losing his touch with un-compelling matchmaking.
Just A Wrestler- August 28, 2009 at 8:37 am
i think hugepenislarry wears small shorts and a really big cup
HugePenisLarry- August 28, 2009 at 8:29 am
I may just do that, as long as you can still get paid and have a hairy back.
Titos Head- August 28, 2009 at 8:26 am
GO DW!
Jeffro- August 28, 2009 at 8:18 am
Larry - you need to get that huge penis working for you. There are lots of $$$ to be made in the gay porn industry. Just ask Ben.
Kindling- August 28, 2009 at 8:05 am
RJeezy — well played, sir.
ArmFarmer- August 28, 2009 at 8:04 am
I kind of feel like murging wec and ufc would water down ufc cards a little. Not that there aren't great fights at the lighter weights.. I'm just not that interested in the ones that don't involve top 3 fighters. Then again that may just be because I'm not as familiar with them yet.
Jugger- August 28, 2009 at 8:02 am
I agree with BBBabalu... so far Hendo is the only guy to win a round against Anderson and he's payed his dues fighting back up the ladder. He should definitely get a chance for a rematch.
RJeezy- August 28, 2009 at 7:51 am
Pat Curren is my favorite fighter ever. Too bad he lost to Taylor Mazasaki
HugePenisLarry- August 28, 2009 at 7:46 am
It would be badass if they got a cable TV deal so we could watch more of the PPV caliber shit for free. I can't always afford $45. Honestly though I kind of like the WEC separate, they have great fights everytime they have a show and it's free which is always awesome.
Jesse Ortiz- August 28, 2009 at 7:43 am
Now all the ring girls are gonna become anorexic when they say guys like Pat Curren and Brian Bowles walking past them...wait I dont think Pat Curren will have a job by then.
Bringbackbabalu- August 28, 2009 at 7:41 am
All this talk if Nate and Demian being the contender for the MW division, what happened to Hendo? I mean Marquardt couldn't beat Hendo in 1000 years, and Maia couldn't take him down in 2000 years. I just don't see what the problem is, they said Dan was next in line. They can't be seriously considering forgetting Hendo just to give one of these guys a shot.
phantom151- August 28, 2009 at 7:40 am
Could this mean some free UFC's on a cable network cause that would own in the face anderson the spider silva style for sure !!!!!
jimbonics- August 28, 2009 at 7:34 am
I might just be back on the DW train now. Woo Woo!
CagePotatoMMA