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UFC 79 Audio: Dana White’s post-event comments

As usual, there’s a TON of great UFC audio available on “Mr. Sunshine” Steve Cofield’s blog, including a ten-minute post-UFC 79 interview with UFC president Dana White.

You can access the interview by clicking here.

In the interview, White touches on the following:

– The greatness that was the Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva fight was brought up. White talked about how great the fight was and says while better late than never, that it could have been even bigger two years ago. That might be true, but nobody in the arena seemed to care that night. To me, the fight felt like two years ago.

– Silva’s performance was discussed and White felt like Wanderlei helped his stock even in a losing effort. I agree. For most people, Saturday was their first introduction to Wanderlei Silva. How could they not be impressed with his heart?

– To all you who thought I got it wrong that Silva knocked down Liddell in the second, listen to the audio because it looks like White agrees with my assessment. He said the two grazed each other and that Silva didn’t pounce on Liddell because he had been rocked too. I’m not sure how it looked on TV, but live, to me, it looked like Liddell got knocked down as opposed to falling down.

– How he doesn’t understand why Georges St. Pierre doesn’t get more mainstream press in Canada considering that the UFC has such a strong Canadian following (damn good question)

– How Matt Hughes is now in a Rich Franklin-like state of purgatory, being number two in a weight class behind a number one fighter he can’t beat. Cofield and White jokingly talk about a Franklin vs. Hughes matchup but White said he already tried to make it happen following the second season of TUF and that the two will never fight each other.

– White officially announces Tim Sylvia vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the UFC interim heavyweight title at UFC 81 on Feb. 2. He says he still considers Randy Couture the heavyweight champ and that the UFC gave him a $500,000 signing bonus and he either expects Couture to honor his contract or retire. For the first time to my knowledge, White confirms that this is now a legal matter.

– White talked about how he was impressed by Lyoto Machida. He expressed his concerns in the past that Machida wasn’t fighting aggressively enough but said he felt that he looked aggressive against Sokoudjou. White was especially complementary toward Machida, saying he felt like he can do everything well.

– Listening to the audio, it becomes apparent that Rich Clementi’s stock has risen greatly in the UFC. White said he expected Melvin Guillard to win the fight but that Clementi really impressed him and that he considers Clementi a great fighter. This is good news for Clementi, because prior to the fight, his status with the UFC was tenuous, at best. It now sounds like he’s going to be a full-time UFC fighter again and could get some pretty strong matchups.

– Guillard’s post-fight antics were brought up and White revealed how he had to go over to Guillard after the match and tell him to leave the cage area.

  • Brent says:

    “How he doesn’t understand why Georges St. Pierre doesn’t get more mainstream press in Canada considering that the UFC has such a strong Canadian following (damn good question)”

    I always figured they’ve been ignoring him because of rumors about his sexual orientation – who knows or cares – I’m sure he’ll get mainstream press there when/if UFC does a PPV in Canada.

  • Gabber says:

    Uh, I would have to disagree with White on the statement. The dude gets huge pub for being a cage fighter. We’re a hockey player nation and I see GSP on alot more programs the Sidney Crosby, or most other sports figures for that matter. In the past month he’s been on Off The Record, The Hour and some talk show my wife saw.

    I think the statement is a bit more of a display of the disparity between the US and Canada. You figure, we have the population of our country in say New York State or California? USA has the benefit of the effect of ten times. Ten times the population, ten times the media, ten times the competition in your proposed field. Also, you have to figure that our biggest sports talk radio station (590 Toronto), only devotes a hour a week to MMA in general. Barely scratches the surface as, Showdown Joe (MMA Host) actually does the sport a great service and goes over most promotions. But, it airs at like 10 or 11pm on a Wednesday/Thursday, not a high listener time.

    There are also a large number of states that sanction MMA. The only provinces are BC, Alberta and Quebec. So, since GSP does most of his fighting down south, I can see why he wouldn’t be getting huge pub. Maybe he needs to find a PR person. Everyone I know, who knows the sport or the UFC knows GSP.

    I just think MMA/UFC in general isn’t marketed a great deal in the country. I would say that would be for most combat sports. I saw Steve Molitor after his last fight at Casino Rama and I would 95% of the people there couldn’t even tell I was shaking hands with the champ. So, take that for what it is…


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