UFC President Dana White has some news.
Photo Credit: Sherdog.com
The Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) has evolved dramatically in the last decade. Today, the UFC can be seen in almost all of social media and all over the world. The tournament has events on fox pay per view channel, FX, and fuel TV. You can imagine how busy the UFC president must be. White is flying over the whole country and the world promoting a pay per view event.
President White went to L.A to shoot for a show for fox sports.com at the Palm West Hollywood.
The president talked about the rematch between Brazilian fighter Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen. When in Brazil Sonnen received a bad reaction in the crowd since he had said some negative things about Silva and the Brazilians in general.
“We had proper security with us,” White said. “We had liked seven guys with us. These are guys that mapped out the whole route. We literally landed at the airport in Rio, a shuttle took us through customs, jumped on helicopters and the helicopters took us right to the hotel. I came through the front door. We put him (Sonnen) through a side door. We had him in a holding room. We went down to the press conference and he had a scrum. The reporters were getting really aggressive with him at the scrum. Somebody got him with shock pin and all kinds of stuff like that. he went out the side door. I went out the front door. Helicopters took us back. We got ona plane and got him out of there. I wanted to make sure we got in and out and got him safe.
“I’m still getting texts, ‘Did you and Sonnen get out of Brazil alive last night? I haven’t heard from you. Give me an update.’ I made him (Sonnen) ride in a different car than me.”
Silva and Sonnen are originally scheduled to fight at UFC 147 at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. But the UFC decided to move the fight because of scheduling conflicts.
White wasn’t ready to announce the date of the fight. He said that the episode of Ultimate Fighter: Brazil gets 12million views.
The UFC signed a 7 year contract deal with fox networks “The Ultimate Fighter” was moved to spike TV to FX and has a new format. The show gets 1million view per episode.
“I love the format, the format’s awesome,” White said. “As far as the shoe goes, it’s a (expletive) home run for FX. It’s on Friday nights. Friday nights they do movies and reruns. We’re the No. 1 thing in males 18-34 every Friday night. If not we’re No. 2 if they pull something off that beats us. They’re happy as a pig in (expletive). For me, I want to pull 3 million viewers on FX. We’re No. 1 on Friday nights every week, which they’ve never had. The (UFC 145) prelims on Saturday on FX were No. 1. It’s a home run for them, but it’s not necessarily a home run for me.”
So is it time for UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones, who has defended his title in dominating fashion against three former champions, to move up to heavyweight?
“I just think he is so young,” White said. “Here’s the other thing, I saw some people bitching on Twitter, ‘He’s too big to be at light-heavyweight.’ Same (expletive) they were saying about Brock (Lesnar). Brock was not the biggest heavyweight in the UFC. He wasn’t, No. 1, and No. 2, have you ever heard Jon Jones say, ‘I had a tough time cutting wait for this fight.’ No. (Expletive) guy makes 205 like that. He’s 205 pounds.”
There’s was talk that Jones might be ready to defend his title against former Pride and Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson at UFC 149 on July 21 in Calgary, but White said Jones won’t be ready to fight so soon.
White said he loves the Diaz brothers, Nick and Nate, who faces Jim Miller in the main event of UFC on Fox 3 on May 5 in East Rutherford, N.J. Nick is awaiting a hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission after testing positive for traces of marijuana in his system.
“Listen, my take on that thing is smoking weed is illegal,” White said. “When I was in Vegas driving arriving around, there used to be billboards for this guy, his name was Dr. Reefer. That was his name. He’s in jail now. I was thinking how long is this going to go on. He’s Dr. Reefer and he’s prescribing weed to people, right? The guy’s in jail. … Until the day when you can walk into a store and buy marijuana cigarettes that (expletive) is illegal, period, end of story. There is no, ‘I have this and that.’ In the state of California there is some loophole where you can smoke it. In the state of Nevada there is not. Just like this Alistair Overeem thing.”
So when is the UFC coming back to Southern California?
“We’re working on an Orange County fight right now,” White said. “We’ll be back at the Honda Center by the end of the year. We’re looking at the fall… Aug.4 for Fox fight (at Staples Center).”
White found out during lunch that the California state government voted in favor of a bill in committee that would add taxes and many other things that would make it harder to put on MMA events in California.
“Do you know what’s going on in Sacramento, right now?” White said. “They are trying to pass this bill to raise our taxes and do a bunch of crazy (expletive) to us. They voted 4-2 for the bill. There were a couple of people not present to vote on it. If that thing passes we won’t do anymore fights in California. All kinds of crazy (expletive) they’re trying to throw in this bill for MMA. You know who’s doing it? The Culinary Union from Las Vegas. These guys have been (expletive) with us in New York, too. That’s why we’re not in New York. These guys got a bunch of lobbyists together to try to pass this bill against MMA. They are putting pressure on my partners, the Fertitta brothers, because they own the fourth-largest gaming company in the country and they are non-union.”
White said Ronda Rousey, Matt Hughes, Chuck Liddell and Cung Lee are up in Sacramento trying to advocate for MMA.
“I think she (Rousey) is a big star,” said White, who added that Zuffa and Strikeforce have a two-year deal to remain on Showtime.