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UFC 138 ‘Leben vs. Munoz’ Post-Fight News & Notes: Dana White Doesn’t Rule Out Paul Daley Return

Rundown of post-fight news and notes from UFC 138…

10,823 UFC fans filled the LG Arena in Birmingham, England for a $1.5 million live gate

— Terry Etim took home an extra $70,000 for finishing Edward Faaloloto with a guillotine seconds into the fight. Che Mills picked up the KO bonus for taking Chris Cope out with a knee and strikes. Renan Barao and Brad Pickett earned Fight of the Night honors for packing 15 minutes worth of action into four.

— Following his victory over Chris Leben in his main event, Mark Munoz politely declared that he wants to fight his “friend” and former training partner Anderson Silva for the middleweight title. Munoz reaffirmed that at the press conference.

“I trained with Anderson,” Munoz said at Saturday’s post-event presser. “He’s a good friend of mine. I came to the UFC because I want to be the best, and unfortunately, he has the belt.

“For me, I would love to be a world champ, and that’s what I train for. That’s why I’m in this organization. This is the best organization in the world, and I want to be a world champ in this organization. All respect goes to him, but at the same time, I want to get that top spot.”

Munoz then described a “Bruce Lee moment” he once had with Silva.

“I was a guy who was coming up the ranks, and I was just teaching [Silva] wrestling as much as I could,” Munoz said. “I was teaching him and pouring all my knowledge in the sport (of wrestling). I’ve been in the sport for 20 years. I was pouring into him, pouring into him. I had a Bruce Lee moment with him.

“The first time I trained with him, he held pads for me in Muay Thai. Then he took off the pads. He told me to take off the gloves, and in his broken English, he said, ‘Kneel down.’ I’m like, ‘What?’ He kneeled down in the middle of the cage. He told me to kneel down, and I’m like, ‘What are we doing right now?’ He was like, ‘Mark, when you fight, no fight. No fight. Fight angry. No good. You play. OK? Play.’

“But I got what he was talking about because when you go into the fight with negative emotions, you’re going to fight with that emotion instead of fighting your gameplan – instead of fighting intellectually. I kind of got what he was talking about, and when I trained with him, I trained with him a lot. I kind of got his mentality.”

Dana White’s thoughts on Mark Munoz as a possible title contender: “I think [Munoz] has won some fights. He’s won some tough fights, and we’ll see. We’ll see what happens.”

— After Thiago Alves took care of business against UFC newcomer Papy Abedi last night, Alves told reporters that he made it through his rough patch and is looking forward to brighter times ahead.

“I’ve been through some tough spots, but that’s just life, the way it happens,” he told ( after the fight. “This fight was very special for me because I put in a lot of work and opened my eyes to a lot of things. I’m very happy. I’m very prepared for whatever comes next.”

“I think the more time you spend in this sport, you find more ways to get motivated some way, somehow,” he said. “You stop thinking about the bad stuff. It’s just life. Sometimes you have to go through stuff to get better. That’s where I think I am right now.

“I came through all of it, and I’m ready. I’m very excited. Bring it on.”

— Following his thrilling victory over Brad Pickett, Renan Barao didn’t mince words about why he is fighting in the UFC.

“The objective is this: When you come up here to the UFC, it’s to fight for the title,” he told ( through a translator. “I’m ready any time.”

Urijah Faber or Brian Bowles may be on deck for Dominick Cruz but after his performance last night, Barao probably isn’t far behind.

We already covered it, but it looks like Josh Koscheck vs. Carlos Condit is in the works for UFC 143.

— Dana White couldn’t get out of England before a reporter asked him if he’s changed his tune on Paul Daley yet, and guess what, he kinda did.

“The Strikeforce-Showtime deal isn’t done yet,” White said. “We’ll see what happens with that first. I just have a hard time with what Daley did.”

“It’s not like Daley’s been so friendly since that happened, either,” White said. “Plus, he hasn’t won. The guy’s got to win some fights.

“Any guy who loses in the UFC or other promotions, you lose, and you go get some wins somewhere else and come back.”

“I’m not a fan, to be honest,” White said. “You know that.”

What Dana didn’t say was “Paul Daley will never fight in the UFC again” like he usually does when someone asks him that question, so maybe there’s a chance if Daley racks up a couple wins.

Video via MMA Weekly

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