MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani caught up with Dana White to talk about a variety of topics heading into UFC 139 including the event, last weekend’s FOX debut, their next FOX card and what’s going on with the Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen rematch. Here’s a quick rundown of news and notes.
— Dana White confirmed that UFC on FOX 2 will take place on Jan. 28 in Chicago. They already have two “great” fights lined up to headline the show, but he isn’t spilling the beans until he tells FOX first on Monday. The plan is to air four fights total. There will not be any title fights on the card. Again, Dana wouldn’t drop any names, but there is a lot of speculation floating around that Rashad Evans will be one of the headliners. Just a rumor for now, but it does make sense.
— Dana White blames the lack of buzz for UFC 139 and other year-end events on the “transition period” they’re going through with the networks. They expect the end of the year to be “rocky.” Dana believes all the work they put into the next two years will be more important than the last 10.
— Dana is expecting an “influx” of new people with a lot of money getting into the MMA business in the next few years in addition to Viacom and Showtime. Sounds like he knows something we don’t know.
— A lot of possibilities for Dan Henderson if he wins Saturday including possible title shots at 185 or 205. A win for Shogun would put him back in the title picture (somewhere).
— If Wanderlei Silva gets knocked out again this weekend, he and Dana will “need to talk” about retirement. Dana won’t sit back and watch someone get knocked out over and over again.
— Unless I missed something, it was believed Urijah Faber and Brian Bowles would be fighting for the next bantamweight title shot. When asked about it, all Dana would say is “we’ll see what happens.”
— Dana says they painted the blood on the canvas on the FOX broadcast because they wanted a “clean presentation” and didn’t want the canvas to look like it was used.
— Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen 2 is definitely going to happen, but they’re still working on the date.
— Dana called the interview Chael Sonnen did with TSN’s Michael Landsberg earlier this week “very weird.”
— No new updates on the Strikeforce situation.
— There’s no fear of the New York MMA situation worsening if they don’t win their lawsuit.