With another UFC event taking place in England this weekend, Dana White was hard at it talking to the British press. The Sun and Fighters Only Magazine both had an opportunity to talk to the UFC President and got him to open up on few of the hot topics in MMA.
White confirmed to Fighters Only that Michael Bisping will coach the UK TUF 9 team regardless of what happens in the Leben fight.
“Win, lose or draw, [Bisping] will coach the British team,” White revealed.
As for the US coach, it appears Dan Henderson is still in the running as well as his UFC 93 opponent, Rich Franklin. I’m not sold on Franklin getting the nod though if he beats Hendo at UFC 93. The reason Franklin moved up to light heavyweight was to get out of the way of other top contenders trying to earn a shot at Anderson Silva. No one wants Silva/Franklin III, so why would they devote an entire season of TUF to building up a number one contenders match that includes the one middleweight who they’re not going to match Silva up with? It doesn’t make much sense, but we’ll see.
Anderson Silva’s been talking about retiring quite a bit lately, so it was only matter of time before someone got Dana’s thoughts on it. The Sun did just that. Here’s a snip of what Dana had to say.
“You never know when a guy is going to say, ‘Hey, I’m done, I want to retire.’ But is he really going to retire? I don’t think so. Why would he quit? He’s got an opportunity right now to make a lot of money – he’s making a lot of money. The window of opportunity in this business is very small and you’ve got to ride it for as long as you can. Once you retire from the fight game, it’s very hard to make that kind of money ever again.”
I’m also having a hard time believing Silva’s retirement talk. For one, what happens if he loses one of those six fights? If he’s retiring because he’s run out of challenges, a loss would likely get that fire burning strong again. And two, when was the last time any professional athlete in his prime stepped away for good? Barry Sanders? Any athlete that competes at the highest level in their respective sport tends to be extremely competitive and it usually doesn’t leave them once they say the word “retire.” Look at Randy Couture. When he first “resigned,” he made it clear he was fine with never fighting again if he couldn’t fight Fedor. And who is he fighting now? A former professional wrestler with a 2-1 record.
Point being, there’s a lot of time between now and his proposed exit. A lot can happen between now and then. Let’s wait and see what he says when he gets to the last fight on current deal before we start worrying about it. I do have to ask though, why is he announcing this now? Leverage? Money? We’ll see…
Oh, and by the way, Dana also mentioned BJ Penn’s future if he beats GSP. Let’s just say Anderson Silva won’t be in it. Anderson might be in GSP’s though.
“If GSP beats BJ then you’ll see Silva v GSP – possibly at a catch weight.
“But if Penn beats GSP there’s no way I’d let him move up to 185lbs, no way.
“He’ll f***ing fight, argue and cry about it but there’s no way – it ain’t gonna happen, I can tell you that right now – it ain’t gonna happen.”
I’m sure BJ will be thrilled.
The last topic Dana opened up about was how organized crime is getting in the way of world domination. Here’s what Dana told Fighters Only.
“We had plans for Pride, we were going to do Japanese shows, but the mafia runs that place and it is very hard to do business over there,” he said. “That basically killed the brand.”
However, what he terms “The Mexican initiative” is taking “a lot longer than we though it would, basically because five families control all of Mexico.”
“A lot of these places are tough, you just have to work your way around it. The corruption in Japan, the way things are in Mexico, you know? In every country you go to there are different ways of doing business.”
Zach Arnold has been waving the red flag on the UFC’s expansion into Japan for quite awhile, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they’re having trouble there. As for Mexico, well, I don’t know a whole lot about its mafia. All I know is don’t drink the water. So there Dana, start with that.