In addition to doing the Jim Rome Show, UFC president Dana White was also a guest on a local-Sacramento sportstalk station last night. I apologize for not knowing the station or the host’s name, but it was a real good interview.
It’s available at:
A quick heads up, you’ll have to download some software and the file. Once the file starts playing, you’ll need to fast forward to around the 5:00 mark to hear the start of the interview.
Highlights of the interview include:
– Dana referring to Bodog Fight creator Calvin Ayre as “that criminal.” He wouldn’t mention Ayre by name and likened Ayre to the lead characater in the movie Brewster’s Millions. Dana said he’s trying to lose as much money as he can in 48 hours. Funny stuff.
– The Koscheck issue was brought up, Dana laughed by saying he doesn’t even read MySpace and that you’re lucky to get a response from him via e-mail. He said Koscheck’s people called and told him that the account was hacked and it wasn’t Koscheck’s words. Dana said he knows Koscheck and that he’s the “type of kid” who if he felt that way, would say it directly to Dana.
– The WEC’s ratings were brought up. Dana said he was proud of the show and pleased with the ratings. He addressed criticism about the ratings by saying people on the Internet don’t know what they’re talking about. Dana said the show was the fifth-highest rated in the history of Versus and it did great in spite of all the other programming that it competed against such as the MTV Music Awards and the Yankees vs. Red Sox game (which was close until the end) on ESPN. Dana didn’t even bring up the Sopranos or Entourage.
– By talking about the WEC ratings, he also segued into the ratings for the current season of TUF. Dana defended the ratings once again and trashed critics. He said the ratings in the first season did anywhere between a 1.1 and a 2.1 (peaking during the Leben stuff). Dana pointed to the fact that there’s about 45-55 hours of UFC programming on now (compared to none back when TUF 1 started airing) and the ratings are still solid.
– The host mentioned ESPN.com’s deal with Sherdog. Dana ripped Sherdog worse than he rips the IFL, saying he has “no respect” for Sherdog and that he’d never personally do business with them again. He said ESPN didn’t know what they were doing when they chose Sherdog for their MMA content.
– The host talked about Dana’s initial comments back on March 27 about Pride being run as a separate company and retaining its identity. Dana backed off, saying once again that they’re “still figuring Pride out.”
– Nogueira was brought up. Despite all the rumors, Dana is still saying Big ‘Nog will debut for the UFC at UFC 73 this July in Sacramento. No mention of Heath Herring, his rumored opponent.
– Confirmed that Cro Cop will be fighting again at UFC 75 this September in London.
– Dana said he’s “confident I’ll get Fedor.”
– Boxing was brought up and some interesting things were said. Dana said he doesn’t hate boxing and that he and Floyd Mayweather Jr. used to be close. He got a big reaction from the host when he said “Who knows, I might be the guy who comes back and saves boxing.”
– ESPN and HBO were brought up. Dana’s comments in this regard were interesting. At one point he said Spike is a “great partner” but that they “want to grow” and that “anything can happen.” If you recall, when I interviewed Dana he made it sound like leaving Spike would never happen. I think he’s softened his stance a tiny bit.
– Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva was brought up. Dana basically just said “I’d love to do it.”
Hope you all enjoyed the recap.