—Not are there are any reports to the contrary, but the UFC is nowhere close to a network TV deal. Dana had this to say about it.
“(We are) not very close (to a network TV deal) now with this market like this… The networks are so strong, they pretty much tell you the deal that they’re going to give you whether you like it or not. We don’t need it. We built this company without the help of anybody… We don’t need help from anybody at the end of the day. If somebody wants to do the right deal with us, we’ll do it with them. Spike did. So we’re on Spike TV. Believe me, I’m happy as hell to be on Spike TV. We can stay there forever. I could care less.
—Demian Maia is now being looked at as a possible candidate to coach opposite Michael Bisping on TUF 9. Rich Franklin has already publicly said he’s not too interested, and Dan Henderson apparently isn’t either. It’s not much of a surprise. Franklin’s already been there, done that, with the reward being a fight for a title shot that doesn’t make sense for him. Henderson wants a rematch with Anderson Silva as soon as he can get it. I’m sure he’s not too keen on sitting out for a year just to have an opportunity to fight for a title shot in 2010. Somebody has to challenge Silva for the belt between now and then. Maia seems like as good a candidate as any, but then what about the US vs. UK theme (Maia is Brazilian in case you didn’t know)? Personally, if TUF keeps getting worse like it has, then I could care less who’s coaching and what the theme is. By the way, Nate Marquardt is apparently another possibility.
Press conference videos of Randy Couture, Kenny Florian, Demian Maia, and Dustin Hazelett after the jump.