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Dana White

Dana White comments on the Sale of the UFC, Fedor’s future in the UFC as well as Bisping/Henderon 2

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UFC President Dana White was a guest on the inaugural episode of UFC Unfiltered podcast hosted by Jim Norton and Matt Serra. During his time on this show, White spoke about some of the hot topics circulating in the world of MMA recently, including the rumored sale of the UFC, the much talked about Fedor Emelianenko fight at EFN 50, and the future of new middleweight Champion Michael Bisping.

When asked about UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, Dana White had very complementary things to say. He described Bisping’s win over Luke Rockhold as “one of the biggest upsets ever in the history of the UFC.”  He went on to say “he has been in the UFC for 10 years, and he never turns down a fight, he is always in the top 10, you can never underestimate him.” Which is exactly what White thinks Luke Rockhold did coming into this title match. Later in the show, White spoke about the possibility of Bisping fighting fellow UFC 199 winning fighter Dan Henderson. This is a matchup that both Henderson and Bisping have been vocally campaigning for. White said that he was very impressed with the Henderson win over Hector Lombard, saying “at 45 years old for Dan Henderson to still be doing what he is doing, I mean, going into UFC 199 nobody was talking about that fight with Lombard, but I thought that it would probably end up as the fight of the night. These 2 guys are both guys who can end a fight with one punch, just blasting away at each other. It was awesome, and the love Dan got at the end, and I know a lot of people want to see that fight, but there are so many guys that we would have to jump over to do that, but most of them are hurt. Jacare is hurt, Weidman is hurt, Rockhold just lost, so I wouldn’t rule it out.” White went on to comment on the fact that Henderson had stated in the recent past that he may be close to retirement “He said win, lose, or draw he would retire, but he wins the belt I highly doubt he would retire.”

White was then asked about his thoughts on the EFN 50 fight this past weekend between Fedor Emelianenko and Fabio Maldonado, and to address the talks of Emelianenko finally joining the UFC roster. To this White said “It was a fun fight to watch. (The referee) were going to let him die before they stopped the fight, but it was a testament to how tough, durable, and mentally strong Fedor is. He was out and got back up. He has a chin and he’s a tough guy.”  When asked about the probability of the UFC signing Fedor he said “we’ll see, we have been negotiating with him for many, many, many years. I’ll tell you this, Fight Pass did very well with the fight, people still want to watch Fedor.”

One of the biggest rumors circulating recently regarding the UFC is the possible sale of the multi-billion dollar company. Although White would not concretely comment to a yes or no, he simply reassured the employees of the company that they should not be worried. He called the ordeal surrounding the rumours of a sale “the most disruptive thing ever in the history of the company” and went on to say “everybody who works for me, let this be the last thing you worry about.” When asked about whether or not he would stay on if this possible sale goes through, he simply replied “don’t even worry about stuff like that.”

 

 

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Conor McGregor

Dana White gives an update on the lightweight title picture

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When it comes to the lightweight division there is always a lot of talk with very little clarification. But now it seems Dana White has had enough of waiting for champion Conor McGregor and plans to move on in his absence.

“The Notorious” Conor McGregor won the UFC lightweight title back in November 2016 at UFC 205 where he became the first fighter to hold two belts simultaneously, however, he has not competed in MMA since.

Speaking on Sunday night’s after UFC Fight Night St. Louis UFC President Dana White said “Conor has said he is thinking about coming back in September if he comes back in September that’s almost two years, that can’t happen. It’s not fair to everybody else. Love Conor, respect Conor, love everything he’s done for this company, everybody knows that I say it all the time. The belt would have to move on.”

White also spoke about the two men that would fight for the lightweight belt saying “You do Khabib versus Tony, we’re working on that fight now and if and when Conor comes back he would get the first crack at the title.”

Then when presenter Karyn Bryant pushed for clarification and asked: “So you’re saying that Conor could possibly be stripped of his title?” Dana responded without hesitation “absolutely”.

The news will excite UFC fans across the globe who have been clamoring for the Ferguson vs Khabib matchup which they have been denied on three separate occasions. No date was confirmed for the potential matchup but rumors have been circulating that the UFC is targeting UFC 223 in April.

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Dana White

Dana White gives update on Conor McGregor and the lightweight division

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The top end of the UFC’s lightweight division is thriving. Dustin Poirer defeated former division champion Anthony Pettis, in dominant fashion. Tony Ferguson won the lightweight division’s interim title by carving Kevin Lee from his back. Safe to say, no everyday person would ever want to see Khabib Nurmagomedov down a damp and dark alley. Don’t forget, the gutsy performance of Eddie Alvarez stealing Justin Gaethje’s undefeated record away.  The division is thriving like gas attempting to escape a shaken champagne bottle.

On Friday, UFC President, Dana White, spoke to Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, about a number of topics. One, which came up fairly quickly; Conor McGregor and his stranglehold on the lightweight belt. The pair began talking about recent performances inside the octagon when the illustrious name of, Khabib Nurmagomedov, came up. White claimed, “Conor always finds a way to win. When he hits you, you go…”. Then speaking of the potential bout between Nurmagomedov and McGregor, “I love that matchup but, Tony Ferguson is the interim champion. Conor and I haven’t really figured out when he’s coming back and what’s going on…”. He continued, “I don’t think Conor wants to fight until August, but if he waits until August or September, that’s around two years since the belt has been defended and that can’t happen”.

Iole followed up by asking, due to circumstances, does McGregor owe it to the sport to defend his title? The UFC president agreed, “And to the other fighters. Not only to the sport but, to the other fighters. This is a game of time… when you’re a professional athlete, time is your enemy and we can’t let this thing go on forever and not give other guys the opportunity. Tony Ferguson has been around for a long time and has earned his dues, Khabib has earned his dues… Conor has done very well, he’s made a lot of money, and if he decides that he doesn’t want to fight again for another however long that’s up to him… but, the belt has to move on… we gotta figure some stuff out here in the next couple months”.

It only makes sense that the UFC wants progression in the one-hundred and fifty-five lb. division. Even without their massive revenue generator, the division must move on. Athletes like Nurmagomedov may be relatively unknown outside the MMA community in the United States but, his official Instagram page holds 3.2 million followers.  While Tony Ferguson may not hold online notoriety, he does have an exciting style. A style that could win a good many of fans, the more exposure he receives.

For White, one of these two men must fight for the division’s championship title. When asked about what is next, he stated, “As long as Conor is willing to fight by March, we could do Khabib versus Tony and then the winner fights Conor… or Conor doesn’t wanna fight and wants to sit out till next fall. Then we would have to make Khabib vs. Tony for the title”.

Time can be the only truth serum in this particular situation. The UFC brass has spoken of forcing McGregor to vacate his lightweight title for some time. Yet, nothing has happened. On the other hand, it would be more than surprising to see the division’s belt sit on the shelf for another year. Considering it all, including the status of contenders and depth of the division, the bottleneck created by one man never ceases to amaze.

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Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor reacts to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s win at UFC 219

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On Saturday night the world watched as Khabib Nurmagomedov dismantled the striking expert Edson Barboza at UFC 219. The reactions were filled with praise for the undefeated Russian fighter. Media members and fans alike were calling Nurmagomedov one of the best lightweights in the world, but there is one man the world was waiting to hear from, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. McGregor was silent following the fight between Nurmagomedov and Barboza, that is until Monday morning when he took to Twitter to state his opinion about the Number one contender.

“Truly truly truly get on your fucking knees and beg me,” McGregor wrote on Twitter.  “Otherwise, I don’t give a bollox.  My whiskey is out this year and that’s Diddy bread.” The whiskey that McGregor is referring to is his very own grand that he announced would be coming out following his loss to Floyd Mayweather this past August.

Rumors about McGregor’s return have ranged from him retiring from fighting to live a life of wealth with his family, to expect his return to the UFC this summer. No one really knows if McGregor will ever defend his UFC lightweight belt, but if he is to do so UFC President Dana White has said that it will be against interim champion Tony Ferguson.

Ferguson was also seeking a fight with Nurmagomedov prior to winning the interim belt against Kevin Lee. It is entirely possible that we will see these two battle for the interim title in the octagon before we see the return of Conor McGregor. Of course, these days there are no guarantees in regards to title contention, McGregor and his camp have publically stated that they would like to face Nurmagomedov in his home country of Russia. 

 

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