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Happy days at the UFC 115 press conference

There was a big fancy dancy press conference for UFC 115 yesterday and it looked / sounded like a lot of fun. After UFC 114 ventured into Uncle Tom territory, it kinda lost some of it’s innocence. So it’s nice to see Pat Barry giving Mirko Crocop’s ego a sloppy blowjob and the quiet but deadly respect shared between Chuck Liddell and Rich Franklin. Now onto the various interesting news that came out of the conference.

Three PPVs a year + UFC Fight Nights in Canada:

“Our commitment remains that we’re going to put together programs to bring the UFC, three of the major pay-per-view events to Canada on an annual basis,” said Wright. “After that I’m really pleased to announce that we’re also going to be bringing UFC Fight Nights to Canada. That’s a program that we’re going to start in the coming months.”

There are rumors floating around that the UFC had to pay like 12 million bucks for Vancouver insurance, and if that’s how it’s gonna be in the future then I have my doubts about the company going any further west than Edmonton in the future, regardless of what they’re saying. But something’s gotta give if they wanna do that many shows in Canada … Quebec and Alberta are both fine for events, but Ontario isn’t anywhere near done yet and again: TWELVE FUCKING MILLION FUCKING DOLLARS for insurance in Vancouver. That’s “Go Away” money.

Dana says shut the hell up about blood testing (which follows Josh Koscheck semi-apologizing for those GSP steroid comments, coincidentally):

“I think that’s what an athletic commission is for,” White said. “The athletic commissions have been around for a long time. When fighters start talking about other guys being drug tested? Shut up. Worry about you.

“It’s been a long time since somebody tested positive for steroids. When we first took over, guys were popping here and there and I said, ‘You have to be a moron to do steroids in this sport.’ It’s just dumb.”

Yeah, the reason people want blood testing is specifically because it’s been a long time since somebody tested positive for steroids. What, is nobody using magical drugs which will improve your strength and recovery and therefor your chances of winning a fight / getting paid twice as much? Still, I can understand Dana’s attitude in a certain light: it doesn’t help you at all to have dicks on your roster accusing your biggest stars of steroid abuse in front of the media. That’s hyping a fight at the expense of your sport’s integrity. But seriously, Dana … blood testing is the way of the future.

Speaking of Dana, he’s being a bit more diplomatic about the Chuck Liddell situation this time saying:

“My big beef with Chuck was his lifestyle,” White said. “He’s changed his lifestyle, and again I think Rich Franklin is one of the best fighters in the world. We’ll see what happens on Saturday night. We’ll see what happens Saturday, and then I’ll sit down with Chuck and we’ll talk about it. We’ll evaluate it from there.”

Although he did admit another knockout via breezy jab like in the Shogun fight would mean game over:

“I’d have to say, ‘Yeah,'” White told ( at today’s UFC 115 pre-event press conference when asked whether a bad loss would signal the end of Liddell’s octagon run. “If things go like a few of his past fights, I think he’d make the call, too.”

At least he isn’t making this into another straight up “If he loses, then he’s obviously done” situation like last time. I don’t expect Chuck to win, but beyond winning or losing there’s a whole bunch of other factors in the fight to watch out for if you want to be objective about the Iceman retiring. Ability to take a punch is obviously the biggest one … he’d have less people calling for retirement if he didn’t keep ending his nights laid out on the canvas.