As usual, Dana White chatted with reporters following today’s UFC 137 press conference. We’ve got a rundown of news and notes along with Dana White’s video interviews with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani and Heavy.com’s Megan Olivi below.
— Dana White announced at the beginning of the press conference that they have hired MMA Live anchor Jon Anik away from ESPN to commentate on the FX and TUF broadcasts. Anik will also have a role in other programming. MMA Weekly is reporting that Anik has signed a three-year deal with the UFC. Dana White said they’ll be working him so much, he’ll regret leaving ESPN.
— Mirko Cro Cop was very candid at the press conference about his future in the UFC. He realizes that this may very well be the last fight of his career.
“I wish you could see the new Cro Cop, 15 years younger. I wish it’s possible, but unfortunately I’m 37 and this could easily be my last fight in the UFC. It has nothing to do with the result, if I win or lose. Especially if I lose, but even if I win it could be my last fight in the UFC. And I’ll really give my best and hope this will be an attractive fight. I cannot afford anymore, especially in this fight, that it’s declared as the most boring fight of the evening like the fight with Frank Mir. I think me and Roy will perform a good fight and the fans will be satisfied and excited.”
Dana is taking a wait-and-see approach with Cro Cop. He wants to see how he performs and see what he wants to do after the fight before making any decisions. It seems there’s still hope for Cro Cop but he needs to perform on Saturday night.
— Dana confirmed that Brazil is getting the first international version of TUF. He says it’s a “done deal” and will likely air on FUEL, aka the channel no one gets.
— Dana finally confirmed the broadcast plans for the UFC on FOX 1 undercard. The good news is you’ll get to see them. The bad news is you’ll have to watch them on your computer, specifically on Facebook and Fox.com. That includes Ben Henderson vs. Clay Guida, which may or may not produce a number one contender.
— With former Showtime Sports head Ken Hershman now out of the picture, Dana White has taken an active role in the ongoing Strikeforce-Showtime negotiations. He told Ariel Helwani that Lorenzo Fertitta got the talks going and now he’s been brought in to close the deal. Dana met with Showtime in New York on Wednesday and said the meeting went great but the deal isn’t done yet. It definitely seems like they want to keep Strikeforce alive though. For what reason, I don’t know.
— Dana White thinks that anyone who believes the UFC was a monopoly either before or after the Viacom-Bellator deal is either a “hater or a moron.”
This is not a monopoly. It’s the dumbest thing ever said. We are far from a monopoly. If you guys could really know that story, too. If we’re a monopoly, Viacom now owns a mixed martial arts company. They’re sitting on five billion dollars cash. What does that make us? Now we’re the mom-and-pops. I can tell you this: The UFC has been tremendously successful. We’re not sitting on $5 billion in cash.
“Seriously, you have to be a moron – an absolute moron – to say that this thing is a monopoly, or just out to get us, and just hate us and want to say us. It’s one of the two: you’re either a hater or a moron.”
— Nick Diaz has passed his pre-fight drug test. Woohoo!!!