As usual, Dana White fielded questions from reporters on the hot topics of MMA following today’s UFC 133 pre-fight press conference. Several quotes from that interview are below courtesy of USA Today along with a few other notes Dana White didn’t talk about. And above, MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani has his usual pre-fight interview with Dana White. At the very bottom, MMA Fighting has footage of Dana White and Joe Silva in a heated debate with reporters over Fedor Emelianenko.
Why they cut Golden Glory fighters:
This is actually a pretty simple explanation. If you look back throughout history, we haven’t had any Golden Glory guys fight with us since Semmy Schilt, right? And the reason is, we have very different business practices. It’s tough to do business with them. The bottom line is, the way that they do business is, you have to pay them, not the fighters. We don’t work that way. It’s not the way we do business. It’s not how it works here in the United States with the athletic commissions. You don’t pay the managers and the managers pay the fighters. You pay the fighters and the fighters pay the managers.
What happens to Tito Ortiz if he loses:
If he loses, I think I’ll give him some leeway, some leniency… That’s what so crazy about this business and where he’s at. He wins this fight, he’s back on top of the world again. He loses and he’s in the same position. But Tito’s not 25 either. Tito’s 36 years old.
Whether or not the UFC will sign Dan Henderson:
We’ll see what happens. Hendo and I have had some history in dealing. We’ll see if we can figure something out and get him back in the UFC… It’s not that I’ve never been interested in Henderson. Listen, either you can come to deal with guys or you can’t.
What we’ve said about Strikeforce, this thing’s got to run like a business. If we can run this thing and this thing isn’t losing a ton of money, then Strikeforce will stay alive and be rebuilt. We’ll see what happens. Lorenzo (Fertitta) is flying to New York next week to meet with them.
Fedor Emelianenko’s release:
He’s being cut, yeah. Why, you think we should keep him?… You guys said he was the pound-for-pound best in the world. I said he was overrated for years.
Putting Dominick Cruz title defense on Versus:
Any time you’re building a new guy, it’s not bad thing to get him on television. That’s been our model. We did Henderson and Rampage (Quinton Jackson) on free TV (in 2007) too. It doesn’t ever hurt, except financially, to put big guys on free TV… I think Cruz is awesome, man. First of all, I think he’s talented. I think he’s got a great personality. He speaks well. He’s got all the tools to be a star, absolutely. And now it’s our job to get him there.
Yoshihiro Akiyama’s situation:
I don’t know. I don’t know the answer to that question. He’s in a must-win situation for Saturday night.
— MMA Fighting has confirmed Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos have verbally agreed to fight at UFC 139 on Nov. 19 in San Jose as rumored. An official announcement is expected soon.
— TUF veteran Joe Stevenson has been released from the UFC. It shouldn’t come as a surprise. Stevenson is on a four-fight losing streak. The UFC gave him more chances than most.