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UFC 111 Aftermath: Press Conference Notes, Bonuses, and More

(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 Palhares says 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.

- Dana White defended GSP’s performance, but said he heard from quite a few fans who were not impressed. St. Pierre was also bummed by his inability to put Hardy away, and said he once again reviewed the technical mistakes he made in the locker room after the fight with jiu-jitsu coach John Danaher.

- There was an awkward little exchange at the press conference between Dana White and Jon Fitch, who said he wants a rematch with St. Pierre next. DW responded by saying he’d like to see Fitch fight his AKA teammate Josh Koscheck to figure out a clear top contender. Naturally, Fitch said he wouldn’t do it, so White said that he obviously didn’t want the shot badly enough. Then they had this fun exchange:

“If that fight happened, it would happen in our gym with the doors closed,” said Fitch.
“That would make a lot money,” deadpanned White.

For the last time people, your friendships mean nothing to Dana if they cannot be exploited for profit.

Cagepotato Comments

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ghostboner- March 29, 2010 at 11:47 pm
@Seoul Bro - I thought the exact same thing when Hardy was in that armbar. I hope someone asks GSP about it. Personally I'm kind of glad he didn't. I don't see how anyone would benefit from it.

@Keyser Soze - I can respect what you're saying, but Shotokan is not mma. Nor is wrestling, nor is boxing, nor is hockey etc.
Nut Puncher 9000- March 29, 2010 at 11:19 am
I want to see pelligrino/maynard. Just saying...
Keyser Soze- March 29, 2010 at 9:50 am
I always find it entertaining how people can see the same fight, but view it from varying perspectives.

GSP's returning from an eight month layoff due to injury, and fought a technically sound gameplan. Taking Hardy down repeatedly and working for position and submission wasn't a question of "if he can do it". Everyone knew he could. His cardio was there, his takedowns were pretty much 100%, and he controlled the octogon and his opponent with ease, and took no damage. I would've fought the exact same fight (were I GSP), and for those that find him boring, put up or shut up.

As far as Kos vs. Fitch, if you want to fight for the title, you've got to earn it. If that means fighting a teammate, so be it. After all, the fighters are "professionals", right? If hurting a teammate ends up being an unfortunate side result, so be it. If they don't like it, they can go sell shoes or pack boxes or flip burgers, whatever.

Kos doesn't coach Fitch and vice versa, they help each other prepare, there's a big difference. To whomever said "Obviously you've never competed...." you're an idiot. Many moons ago when I fought competitvely in karate (shotokan, if it matters), our sensei had us train at a level close to full contact, to avoid the possibility of practicing with love taps in the dojo only to be KO'd by a real punch or kick in a tournament. In our dojo we had very, very few female martial artists and they really had no choice but to spar with the guys./men, and she was treated the same as everyone else.

If the rest of us took it easy on her, she and our sensei would've both been insulted and her level of improvement would have been much slower. FWIW, did I enjoy kicking a woman in the head? Not really. Was it personal? Not at all. Was it necessary? Yes.

I've fought friends and training partners many many times. I've lost fights and won fights. We're still friends, and if it ever came to the point of straining or damaging a "friendship" and camaraderie in the club, I guess it wouldn't have been all that strong to start with. Hell, I'll fight my younger brother (who outweighs me by almost sixty pounds) when things get heated or out of hand in a drunken stupor. I'll fight him out of sheer boredom if he's so inclined. Win or lose, he's still my brother. Respect and maturity go a long way in the fight game, and in life.
Harry Nips- March 29, 2010 at 8:11 am
IMO the UFC is better off not having Kos vs. Fitch. At the rate these current champs are running through their divisions the UFC would be smart to have 2 or 3 contenders waiting in wings. As much as I want to see Cain vs. JDS the UFC now has 3 legit contenders waiting to take on Lesnar and won't have to worry about running into a situation like they did @ MW when Vitor got hurt.
Also, how long before we're having this teammate vs teammate talk about Jon Jones/Rashad Evans?
fatbellyfrank- March 29, 2010 at 4:28 am
So, why not look into a team competition, someone else will have to do the homework cause I'm fairly wasted, however, for example ATTv's AKA, put forward your best man in each weight division,promote it and pump it, you could replace TUF with this style of challenge, say 3 monthly PPV's preceded by TUF style footage, whatever belts each team were holding would be on the line, and huge bragging rights for winning team.
Remainder of PPV's remain in the same format as now....just saying
David_Banner- March 29, 2010 at 4:01 am
Or there is something to be said for the person willing to do that. Yes, it ended badly for diego, so bad in fact he never made it to GSP and left the division beaten. So, a lot of good it did him. Making issue of the people that don't want to have to fight their friends is silly.

Make no mistake, Dana hasnt pushed the Fitch vs Kos fight because he wants to see a great fight. He hates AKA and seeing that camp destroyed would please him greatly. He's stirring this up to get support but I don'y give two shits about seeing people forced to fight out of "company policy".
David_Banner- March 29, 2010 at 3:51 am
I agree with KJGoulds. GSP said teamates fighting each other is something he could never do because in order to have that killer instinct, you must be fighting with no fear of hurting your opponent. When you're close to people, as teamates usually are, he said it would be impossible.

I get none of this teamates fighting teamates shit. I give a shit about seeing Kosh and Fitch fighting, Rashad and Jardine ect ect, I don't want to see anybody fighting that doesnt want to fight. Forcing friends to fight is just gotdamn creepy.
AL_14- March 28, 2010 at 8:55 pm
@ That Guy Did you miss Silva vs Cote or Silva vs. Leites
That Guy- March 28, 2010 at 8:27 pm
Bens, I watched the fights with a Brazilian friend and as it happens, Palhares did not apologize. That was tactfully added to the translation by Murillo Bustamante.

Re: GSP, is it just me or does it seem like he's the only UFC champ not finishing fights? (Not counting Machida since IMO Shogun is the uncrowned champ) Fighting not to lose his belt isn't gonna win him more fans but hey, he's making that Gatorade money now so fuck 'em if they don't like it.
AndyInflammatory- March 28, 2010 at 8:19 pm
Diego Sanchez left Jacksons MMA when GSP arrived so he could get a shot at the title - there's something to be said for aspirations to greatness (regardless of how badly it ended for Diego) and what you're willing to do to achieve them.
rlh61- March 28, 2010 at 6:06 pm

Fair enough, but I think they are compteting (or should be). They are the same weight and there's only one belt. If they both weren't so near the top of thier division, it wouldn't be such a big deal, but they have been and are the best approximations of contenders at that weight.

If they do continue to hold this mentality, then maybe one of them should leave the UFC. No joke...a closed door match and loser moves on to Strikeforce or whatever other organization might be out there. They could remain teammates and never worry about having to fuck each other up for a title shot.

And I'm willing to put our differences aside to agree on your last point. I don't care if those two are long lost brothers separated at birth, that fight needs to happen.
MediumRare- March 28, 2010 at 5:56 pm
@ All dumbasses
Think of it like marriage. When you hump your wife she is actually just preparing you to fuck the shit out of other women. If she were to fuck those women you meet at the sleezy bars that would just be perverted. Hot but perverted.

The wife's job (other than cooking and cleaning) is to train you, then step back and bask in the glory of you blasting every vagina within a 10 mile radius.

You're welcome.
Seoul Brother- March 28, 2010 at 5:54 pm
@MediumRare: Beating a teammate in a closed-door bout is one thing. Doing it in a room full of extra-Y chromosomal fans (notwithstanding the television audience) is a different thing entirely. How many times have we all heard some jagoff fighter say "I'd fight him for free." Uh huh. On top of that, what if the fight is in a sports arena with tens of thousands of seats filled? That sort of thing can make a fighter choke and not in a good way.
MediumRare- March 28, 2010 at 5:44 pm
@ T_Durden
Yes, it is simple. And, yes, it does boil down to priorities. And any fighter that thinks his priorities trump those of his entire team is not going to benefit from or contribute to his team in any significant way. Btw, this is the interwebs - this is where we throw around comments based on others' character flaws. Haven't you noticed?

@Seoul Bro
Solid point. Fighters will always wonder if they can beat a training partner. But the only way to establish if you can beat a teammate is in a closed-door bout. It won't make money. It won't earn you a belt. But it will answer the question without your career on the line. And it will answer the question without compromising the trust of your teammate.

Answer: No, if one was the champ the other wouldn't fight for the title. You haven't heard a guy refuse to wrestle off for a position on the team because they're competing. They're not helping the other prepare for a bout. Big difference.

The teammate should step back and not contend for the title. They should take satisfaction (and % of fight purse) in their teammate's success.

Exception: Anderson Silva and Machida. They should fight simply 'cause it would be awesome. Fuck loyalty. Lol.
BFG- March 28, 2010 at 5:08 pm
hardy vs alves should be a good one
The Old Red Mist- March 28, 2010 at 4:36 pm
I agree with Seoul Brother's first comment, i think that is exactly what happened, GSP knew he wasn't really under any pressure and enjoyed the challenge of Hardys better than expected Ju-Jitsu, knowing that he was on course for a successful defence.

If the point of the Jersey venue was to show New York what it was missing then the last thing the UFC needed was someone getting an arm snapped.

We all know that it's part of the game and it's what the fighters sign up for but the uneducated element of the public probably would have misunderstood it's significance and the boxing guys and their media would have jumped all over it.
provrorsbarn- March 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm
fitch = white okami
budsellers- March 28, 2010 at 4:21 pm
- why the crowd was booing fitch and miller, but not booing gsp is surreal to me.
- ever since gsp was knocked out, a fear of losing his belt has outweighed his ability to deliver an exciting finish.
- gsp's ever-present apologies and/or claims to be unsatisfied with his own performances have not motivated him to improve his submissions or to risk his belt standing on his feet. (let it be known that i do not feel gsp is required to take risks, but his whining and excuse making is just as weak.)
fightfan- March 28, 2010 at 4:21 pm
Fitch got pwned by Dana White. You gotta watch that little exchange via post fight presser. Fitch didnt smile, nor move a facial muscle for the remainder of the presser. Fitch reaction looked liek a little kid that was told to sit in the corner.

I can see where Fitch stands...but enough is enough. If Fitch REALLY wanted that title then he is gonna have to fight Koscheck, plain and simple. That is unless he wants to wait another year or 2. And during that year or 2, he has to continue winning, hope that Kos keeps winning and gets his title shot, then if all that happens, Fitcfh may see titel shot. Or, he and Kos could fight and the winner would be fighting for title before the end of year

Randy Pan- March 28, 2010 at 4:16 pm

I think that teammates' refusal to fight one another reflects on the more or less sociopathic "zone" a fighter has to be willing to go to be a successful professional fighter. GSP talked about it in terms of whether or not he was willing to induce facial scarring and give his opponent brain damage with elbows from the mounted position, and how he could do that to an opponent, but not if that opponent was his teammate. You have to be willing pull a Cantwell v Al-Asad on your opponent. It's probably a pretty disturbing experience to fight a personal friend.

Chael Sonnen claims that he only wants to beat his opponent, and not injure him. I think this is a dishonest thing for Sonnen to say. It would be more accurate for Sonnen to say that he is a bad striker with no submission skills, so he rarely has an opportunity to injure his opponent simply through positional control. If he wasn't a wrestling-based fighter, it would be much clearer that in most cases, you are trying to injure your opponent. At the very least, you're trying to hurt the guy. You don't necessarily want to kill your opponent, but you want to fuck him up, you want to make him give-up in front of thousands of spectators.

In other words, it's a violent sport. There are less personal considerations for brutalizing strangers.
the glza- March 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm
dw gives kos a warmup and then gsp, fitch has to sit and watch, inactive and presumably crying into a pillow as gsp pounds kos into a puddle.

aka doesn't understand that to fight each other will give one of them a chance at the belt. once they win the belt (HA!) they will be able to have a couple of fights and if he ends up losing the belt, the other aka teammate is waiting in the wings to take it back -- thereby keeping it in aka hands.

they don't realize it's in their own team's interest to fight each other?

that fight, btw is going to be a boring saggy ballsack of a fight, i hope you know. i don't understand why anybody wants it besides the fight-lines style conclusion of a "clear" contender who will be drubbed anyway...
rlh61- March 28, 2010 at 4:03 pm

I've wrestled for a long time. There have always been a number of guys on my team at the same weight class, but only one guy gets to compete in duals and tournaments and that's the guy that wins the wrestle-off. Every day at practice we push each other as much as possible. Never in all my years of wrestling have I heard a guy say "No, I can't wrestle-off with this guy because he's my teammate." Wrestling is far more a team sport than MMA, yet teammates are pitted against each other all the time and the guy that performs best on wrestle-off day gets to compete when it counts.

I'll concede that MMA is different because you aren't just trying to out-point or pin your are going to have to punch him in face and try to hurt him. That being said, these guys are adults and paid-professionals and it's expected that they will do what they have to do to reach the top of their sport.

Saying that those of that feel this way are 'tards, have never competed, are annoying and stupid says a lot about what you really know about this sport or any other.

My question to you is simple...based on your mentality, if Kos or Fitch was the champ and the other was the number one contender, do they not fight each other?
AL_14- March 28, 2010 at 4:02 pm
@KidDinomite How can you say GSP has little stand up skill? I may not be right here but besides the punch from Serra the last time that I remember GSP getting out-struck was the first round of the first fight with BJ. Yes he do spend most of the time on top of opponents but there are always times in fights when the fights are standing and nobody has out-struck him in a long time. People like you need to stop listening to everything Dana White says to hype fights. It's like saying Anderson Silva has no ground game.
mt59801- March 28, 2010 at 3:29 pm
UFC needs a champion's grand prix, pride style multiple fights in one night no weight classes. Winner gets a BMF tat on their forehead. I hate how tedious the ranking and title shot selection has gotten. The system isn't working if these guys are hanging to belts this long and only fighting once or twice a year.
Seoul Brother- March 28, 2010 at 3:05 pm
@MediumRare: I totally understand what you're saying, dude. There's the school of thought that says to prepare someone for a fight, you have to do whatever it takes to make that fighter the best there is not "the best there is unless I fight him." That's a crock of shit, and I certainly wouldn't want that sort of asshole behind me.

There's also the perspective that suggests that while fighters prepare not only to improve upon themselves in general but for specific opponents as well. This tells me that it is possible to fight a teammate even if you were n their corner for ages. If Fitch squared off against Koscheck, they could put their friendship aside for the 3 or 5 rounds it would take to determine who was the better fighter. The question has to come up every now and then if you could beat the guy you're training with.