Here’s an interview Dana White gave to ESPN, which is interesting considering ESPN’s mixed martial arts section is normally handled by Dana’s mortal enemy Sherdog. One has to wonder what kind of machinations are going on behind the scene here … the UFC works hard to keep a leash on mainstream sports media … NBC and Yahoo both slurp at Zuffa’s cock. So is this one on one interview with ESPN just an interview or the UFC attempting to work around Sherdog?
Regardless, there’s a good amount of elaboration in this interview on the stuff Dana said at the post-UFC73 conference:
- He admitted the UFC originally agreed with SpikeTV to show the Thomas/Sims fight (something originally blamed on SpikeTV).
- They’re hard at work on Wanderlei/Chuck, making calls on it every day. This further cements my theory that Dana was just putting the squeeze on Wandy by telling people the fight wasn’t going to happen.
- He played down the competition and said Frank Shamrock didn’t look good in his fight against Phil Baroni. Then again, he said Sean Sherk was exciting, so maybe Dana White lives in Opposite Land. He also said Tito Ortiz would crush Frank Shamrock. Hmmmmmm. Yeah. Sure. No comment there.
- Being cheap with fighters isn’t something new. While the UFC shelled out 10 million bucks to produce The Ultimate Fighter season 1, all of the fighters were fighting for free. What’s really funny is Dana White says “I went down and gave them the Do You Want to be a Fighter speech” … proof positive that Dana White and Zach Arnold are super secret best friends who get together on Tuesdays to watch Puresuro and eat pulled pork nachos.
- Dana says that he hopes to have Fedor by the end of the year and basically implies it’s the small stuff that’s keeping him out right now. Of course, ‘the small stuff’ could be the whole ‘Thou shalt not fight anywhere else’ thing Fedor refuses to bend on.
While I am a fervent MMA fan, I do not browse through the UFC website every day looking for oddities in the site’s layout. Fortunately for us, the geeks at MMA on Tap do, and they noticed that for about half a day on July 9th the UFC website had Bantamweight and Featherweight divisions listed on their title holders page. Hmm, what the fuck is up with that?
I don’t consider myself to be a tinfoil hat kinda guy (except when it comes to Tony Fryklund), but it does seem curious that these things popped up on the UFC’s site. On the other hand, the WEC and UFC websites are built on the same core, and currently the WEC site doesn’t have a title holders page. So if the WEC site gets updated in the next few days with a Title Holders page, I think that will solve this mystery: someone was testing the new page on the UFC site before bringing it live.
When you think about it, that really does make a lot more sense than the UFC adding two new weight classes when they’re still busy developing their own lightweight division and the WEC’s lower weight divisions.
Everyone has been to lazy to type up a full transcript of the post-UFC73 press conference. The closest we’ve got so far is 15rounds.com with a collection of important information from Dana White. And man, does it seem like he’s got shit figured out now. Considering how stingy he’s been for info the past two events, he really gave the goods this time. Here’s a couple statements with commentary:
(Regarding Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans) “I didn’t know that he lost a point. We have to see a rematch between Tito and Rashad. It was a good fight. If it went five rounds, it would have been very interesting”
First off, how can you miss the point deduction? Aren’t you ringside? Aren’t you paying attention? Secondly, I guess his second statement on Tito gassing gives us some perspective into the rematch. Even though Tito won the fight on the scorecards (minus the point deduction), Dana saw Rashad winning if the fight had gone longer. Of course, this is a bit strange … if Rashad had a chainsaw he would have won too, but since the rules say no chainsaws and 3 rounds only, it’s kind of a null point. Fucking stupid Unified Rules.
“I am very confident that we’ll have an HBO deal very soon.”
I would really like to know what Dana White’s definition of ‘very soon’ is. If you consider time and the universe as an infinite reality, then eventually every single possible thing that could ever happen will happen sooner (in the next five seconds) or later (the next 5 bajillion years). However, I wouldn’t describe this HBO deal as something that falls into the ‘sooner’ category. So just stop saying it because you’re starting to look like a teenage girl waiting by the phone all night for the captain of the football team to call you.
“Would like to make the Wanderlei Silva vs Chuck Liddell for September”
This is a classic example of Dana White talking out both sides of his mouth. Just two weeks ago Dana White was backpeddling on the Wand-Chuck matchup, and now again he’s saying it looks good. Here’s where most people call Dana White a big fibber and a smelly pants, but the truth is that public statements are used all the time for business ends. All this talk of the fight being off could have been a ploy to push stalled pay negotiations with Wanderlei’s camp. Or maybe Dana just has no idea what the fuck he’s doing. Which seems to be the consensus of all the 14 year olds on Sherdog.
Do you want to throw a mixed martial arts event but are too lazy to do anything except pay for it? Well, the guys who do the Art of War shows down in Texas are setting up a new system where you pay them $100,000 buckaroos and they’ll do all the work for you.
The UNDERGROUND program is a raw more aggressive program specifically created to allow the venue owners the opportunity to offer Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Sport in small regional markets. The growth of MMA and the demand for more of this type of live entertainment should prove to be a very successful financial model for SUN.” Epstein added, “We feel there is a huge market opportunity in the 1000 – 5000 seat venues to bring a professional show to their facility and have subsequently created a very unique marketing and production plan specifically for this.”
You do the promotion and get the gate money and everyone walks away happy. Or rather, the Art of War guys walk away happy because all they did was book the fighters and truck in a ring and some lights. I’m not going to downplay the amount of work it takes to put on a decent mixed martial arts show, but the major stumbling blocks you’ll run into are dealing with regional bylaws and laws. The other big issue: getting people to actually show up so you can make money. Since this company definitely isn’t taking care of promotion, I really hope they are the ones taking care of the first point.
Sherdog don’t know shit … fucking posers. And finally I’m not the only guy to point it out. Luke over at Bloody Elbow rips into Mike Sloan for dismissing the concept of overtraining:
When you have sore muscles after a workout, it’s generally because you’ve actually torn part of the muscle fibers. That has to happen for growth as new tissue is created to repair and replace the existing damaged/exercised tissue. This is why rest is so important. When strength and conditioning coaches tell you to ice up, stretch out and get rest, that’s not a talking point. That’s real advice. For Sloan to argue that the idea of “overtraining” seems absurd on the face is indicative of someone who likely spends very little time in the gym. That’s not a knock per se until you realize he’s challenging Randy Couture and has a job where he talks about fighting.
Of course, I would have spent less time explaining the specifics and more time throwing around words like ‘moron’, ‘lazy bitch’, and ‘ignorant fuck’. But Luke’s got his own style and I’ve got mine so it’s all good.