Here’s a rundown of all the news and notes from last night’s UFC on Versus 1 post-fight press conference…
— UFC on Versus 1 drew a sell-out crowd of 6,443 attendees at the 1STBANK Center for a live gate of $568,125 according to Dana White.
— Two additional “Knockout of the Night” bonuses were given instead of a “Fight of the Night” bonus.
Submission of the Night: Clay Guida
Knockout of the Night: Junior dos Santos, Jon Jones, John Howard
Fight of the Night: None was given
— Duane “Bang” Ludwig was thought to have just dislocated his ankle, but unfortunately, it turns out he severely broke it. It’s unknown how long he’ll be out or how it may affect the rest of his career.
— Jeremy Botter is reporting that Brandon Vera suffered three fractures in the area around his right eye from that devastating Jon Jones elbow. Cagewriter says the injuries are so severe Vera isn’t even allowed to fly on a plane. Strikeforce gets a lot of flack for not adhering to the Unified Rules by prohibiting elbows on the ground, but I, for one, are glad they outlawed them. Between injuries like this and all the gruesome cuts, hardly anything good ever comes from elbows on the ground.
— Dana says Herb Dean made a mistake allowing the Kongo-Buentello fight to continue. According to him, Dean thought Buentello had a problem with his glove, but should have scored it an immediate TKO victory for Kongo had he recognized it was a medical issue instead of allowing it to continue. Dana’s right about what Dean should have done, but it seems unlikely Dean mistook what happened considering Buentello was jumping up and down in obvious pain.
— Dana thinks the cut to 185 lbs. was too much for James Irvin and was the culprit for his lackluster performance. He’s a fan of Irvin’s but even that doesn’t guarantee he’ll keep his job.
“No more 185(-pound fights) for him,” White told MMAjunkie.com. “He didn’t look good. I think he’s got a lot of scar tissue in his face under his eyes. That was sticking out more than his eyeballs were. He didn’t look good [at weigh-ins].”
“I’m a huge James Irvin fan,” he said after the fight. “I’m a fan of the guy; I really am. He’s had some of the best knockouts in the UFC, and he always comes to fight. Tonight, it looked like the cut killed him. He couldn’t get off. He couldn’t throw any punches tonight. He was basically getting lit up by Sakara, and that’s not James Irvin. That’s not who he is as a fighter. The 185 cut is too hard for him.”
But does that mean Irvin, who’s now suffered back-to-back losses and three defeats in his past five fights, will remain employed by the UFC?
“I don’t know yet,” White said. “Those are decisions we make when we get back to the office, but I’m a fan. I’m literally a fan of him. I really like him a lot.”
— Dana says Jon Jones should be undefeated.
— Dana was impressed by Junior dos Santos’ performance against Gabriel Gonzaga, but isn’t ready to commit to a JDS vs. Cain Velasquez #1 contender’s match just yet. He wants to see how the Mir-Carwin fight goes and how things shake out first.
“There are a lot of questions [about] his ground game because he’s been knocking people out so fast,” White told MMAjunkie.com. “Tonight, he got in a scramble with Gonzaga, and he popped right out of it. It was impressive. He’s the real deal; I think this kid is the real deal.”
“They’re all going to fight,” White said of the glut of contenders. “All these guys in that lineup are going to fight, but we’ve got to figure out how it’s all going to go down. Mir and Carwin are going to get this thing started. We’ll see what happens there, and the great thing is, we’re a week away from that.”
— Dana is now saying they never planned a live event for April 17 to counter Strikeforce “Nashville.” According to him, he was asked questions by the media and merely played along with it. He still has it out for the folks at Showtime and wants to bury them. He still likes Scott Coker however, thinks it’s unfortunate he’s caught in the middle and doesn’t necessarily want to send Strikeforce to the grave, but thinks “that when this whole thing implodes that Coker will be back up in his hometown putting on shows and making money like he always did.”
“I don’t dislike Scott. Unfortunately, Scott’s caught in the middle of this thing…The guys at Showtime – and I shouldn’t even say ‘the guys’ – there’s a guy there, and he’s a [expletive]. I don’t like him, and you guys know how I am. So, it is what it is, and unfortunately Scott’s caught in the middle.”
“I was never putting an April 17 show on. The media started calling me and asking me. I just [expletive] let it ride out and let [Strikeforce] sweat it. [Expletive] them. You want to compete with us, let’s do it…I never, ever said I was doing an April 17 show. People asked me questions, and I said, ‘Hmm, that’s interesting.’ I played a little bit. What you guys have got to understand sometimes is these guys consider themselves a competitor, and I like to compete, so I can’t always tell you guys exactly what I’m doing and what I’m thinking and what’s going to go on.”
— Jake Shields has found himself in a helluva of a good position for negotiations of his next contract. Dana says the UFC is interested in him and they plan to drive his number “through the roof” so even if they don’t land him, Strikeforce will be forced to pay him the big bucks.
“Jake Shields is on the last fight of his contract, so they’re feeding him to Dan Henderson right now because they want to get rid of him because he’s going to go away, or they’re going to have to pay him some big money to stick around or whatever the deal is. ‘We’re paying more money to Dan Henderson than we can afford already, so let’s get Jake’s ass kicked by Dan Henderson and get rid of Jake Shields.’..It’s such [expletive] bush-league [expletive], and you guys know it. They’re a [expletive] joke. Showtime’s always been a joke with all their sports programming, and this is no different…If Jake Shields could pull that off, that would be incredible, and good for him. He’s going to get paid because what’s going to happen is we would love to take him from there, and I’m sure they’d love him to stick around…I will help drive that [expletive] number right up through the roof and let the Showtime boys pay him a lot of money so that Jake can stick it right up their ass. ‘I just choked out Dan Henderson, and now you [expletives] are going to pay me for trying to stick it up my ass. I’m going to stick it up yours.'”
Winner: Jake Shields. Mousasi, are you paying attention to this?
— Dana is playing games again regarding Fedor Emelianenko. Considering he admitted twice he leads the media and fans in the wrong direction sometimes, I’d take this with a grain of salt.
When pressed as to whether the delay of Fedor Emelianenko’s return to the Strikeforce cage had anything to do with the UFC, White had more questions than answers.
“What’s going on?” White asked. “Why isn’t he fighting? That’s weird.”
And in typical eyebrow-raising fashion, White chose to leave more ambiguity than clarity in the ongoing saga surrounding “The Last Emperor.”
“I don’t know (if he has a contract with Strikeforce),” White said. “If he doesn’t, that would be interesting, wouldn’t it?”
— Same goes for the Chuck-Tito-Franklin-Couture-TUF 11-UFC 115 drama. Maybe he told the truth regarding Tito Ortiz, maybe he didn’t. He wants you to watch TUF 11 to find out.
“You never know…You know how I am. You ask me questions, and I’ll tell you the answers. But there’s some times that I have to do what I have to do…This stuff happens. I don’t know what anybody thinks was leaked, or what people think is right and what is wrong. There are always going to be rumors out there, whether it’s a fight we’re putting on or ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and what happened there. There’s always going to be rumors…What’s fact and what’s fiction, you’re going to have to watch the show and find out.”
That make anyone else not want to watch TUF 11? I’m so tired of all the TUF drama never living up to the hype.
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