by: Jack Bratcher

Ryan Hockensmith over at ESPN The Mag, has a great new interview with the president of the UFC, Dana White.

In the interview Dana says they are planning to make an announcement next week that will “rock the MMA world.”  What in the world could it be?  Any ideas?  Usually, when Dana sees other MMA organizations getting alot of attention he will say something like this.  I believe last time the “big announcement” was the Bud Light sponsorship.  If it’s something that is really going to “rock the MMA world” I would venture to guess that it could be a new TV deal.  If I were the president of a Television network such as FOX or NBC and I saw the numbers that the sub par performance of the Elite XC show on CBS did, I would be willing to do just about anything to get the major league of MMA, the UFC, on my network.  The only other “world-rocking” news I can think of would be a major fight announcement such as a George St. Pierre vs. Anderson Silva fight or even an Anderson Silva vs. Roy Jones Jr. boxing match.  Something like that could also shake up the MMA world.

Dana talks about the upcoming fight with Matt Hughes and Thiago Alves which takes place this Saturday, June 7th at UFC 85 in London and can be viewed on pay-per-view here in the United States.  He says, “Hughes is either going to take a step forward and say, ‘I’m still here and I’m not going anywhere.’ Or Alves will say, ‘No, I’m the guy now.'”  Dana also adds that Hughes will most likely fight Matt Serra this fall.

Dana speaks about the Marcus Davis vs. Mike Swick fight which is also on the UFC 85 card and says that if Davis wins he will be in the running for a title shot with George St. Pierre.

Dana states that he thinks a B.J. Penn vs. George St. Pierre fight has to happen.  That’s very interesting and I think that very well could be the “world-rocking” news he is referring to when he says they will make a big announcement next week.  Just a guess.  It would definitely be a history-making fight because they are two of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world and B.J. is the lightweight world champ and GSP is the welterweight world champ.  The difference in their weight class is fifteen pounds so most likely B.J. would move up in weight if that fight were to happen; something B.J. has done before and would have no problem doing in my opinion.  The only thing some people worry about, and with good reason, is B.J. cardio at welterweight.

After talking about the B.J. vs. GSP possibility, Dana says that he doesn’t like these superfights between different weight classes.  Rather, he says, he would rather the fighters stay at their own weight class and dominate.  I really have to agree with Dana on that.  Unless a fighter has a very personal reason for wanting to do so such as B.J. does in the case of George St. Pierre.  GSP has a win over B.J. and B.J. would love to fight him again to make up for that and prove he is the better man.  But as a general rule, I would much rather see champions stay at the weight class where they won the Title and leave their mark on history.  That is the place they will leave a legacy and where people remember them.  I think people in general people are more impressed with a champ who can defend their Title for years and years instead of a guy who is always jumping around weight classes here and there, winning some and losing some.

Well, in response to my previous notion that the “world-shattering” news could be a possible superfight with Anderson Silva vs. George St. Pierre, Dana White clearly says, “Don’t hold your breath on that one.”  Another problem with these superfights between champions is often it’s between two guys in which you really don’t want either one to lose as is the case with B.J. and GSP.  I really hate to see either of those guys lose and I would feel the same way if GSP and Anderson Silva fought.

Then Dana says something that makes me very happy.  He says that UFC 88 will be in Atlanta and Chuck LIddell will be on that card.  Are you kidding me?  I was making plans to attend that event if indeed it was going to be in Atlanta like the rumors were saying and now the Iceman will be there….YES!

Then Dana lays out something that just may blow all my theories of what the big announcement could be in the water.  He says, “There’s something no one else has heard. You have no idea some of the stuff that we have planned. I’m going to make an announcement next week that is going to blow people’s minds. That deal is done, but my employees don’t even know yet. I’m renting out a place next Thursday and I’m going to tell them. Then we’ll make the announcement later that day. It’s an indicator of where this business is going over the next five years.”   What the hell does that mean?  An indicator of where the business is going?  The only thing I can think of is a MAINSTREAM TELEVISION DEAL involving the UFC.

Dana goes on to say that he was very disappointed ESPN did a fifteen minute piece on Kimbo Slice.  Then White says, “I think the show that happened on CBS the other day was a complete embarrassment for CBS and for the sport of mixed-martial arts. Urijah Faber is 145 pounds. He’ll beat Kimbo Slice. Kimbo Slice sucks. He’s terrible. If I had a heavyweight The Ultimate Fighter show, I don’t think he’d win the show. And he’s headlining a show on CBS?”  That’s funny stuff but probably true.  Urijah Faber would beat Kimbo Slice.  Dana says he thought the Elite XC show on CBS was so bad for the sport that it hurt the UFC.  I don’t know about that.  The jury is still out on that one for me personally.

When asked about the possibility of Urijah Faber moving up to 155 and coming into the UFC, something Urijah has stated he would like to do, White said he would prefer he stay at the WEC in 145 and become a superstar and that “he’s so talented at that weight and he doesn’t even have to cut to make it.”  That is something I didn’t realize.  I had no idea Urijah didn’t have to cut weight to fight at 145 lbs.  That makes what he’s done at that level even more amazing.

Dana says the UFC roster is at about 180 fighters now as opposed to 250 which they were at.  He says that as long as they have enough fighters to fight three times a year is what they want.  Then Dana makes a statement that really surprises me.  When pressed, Dana informs that more than 75 percent of the 180 fighters on the UFC roster make more than fifty-thousand dollars a year.  If that is true, that is really huge and I think it’s great.  I think it’s awesome if it’s true.

Finally, on a last note Dana says there’s still a chance we could see Randy Couture back in the UFC.  He said the chances are “better than zero.”  Personally, I would say the chances are about a .5 percent, but that’s just me.  And that’s not a knock against the UFC, I just think Randy has his mind made up.

The UFC is doing some great things.  They’ve already given us some of the best cards and fights in the history of the sport this year and we’re just at about the halfway mark.  So what could this earth-shattering news be the UFC is about to unveil?  Let’s brace ourselves for not only what the UFC is about to do but the whole world of MMA is about to become!  Hope you’re on for the ride.

  1. Finally, on a last note Dana says there’s still a chance we could see Randy Couture back in the UFC. He said the chances are “better than zero.” Personally, I would say the chances are about a .5 percent that line had me rolling. he isn’t coming back

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