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.