In recent years, those numbers have waned as the ballooning size of the UFC roster has made it more difficult for the promotion to offer such opportunities. But according to UFC president Dana White, this season’s fights are so good and so competitive, he couldn’t bring himself to cut a single competitor. Not one. When the season finishes airing on FX, each man will get at least one more chance to compete in the UFC.
“This season is so f———good, and I was so happy with the guys, I told them, every one of you guys are going to fight. You’re going to get one more chance in the UFC,” White said. “Every guy here is going to get one more chance in the UFC. [Matchmaker] Joe Silva wants to f———kill me. ‘It’s impossible. It mathematically doesn’t work.’ I said, ‘Mathematically make it work.’”
White said whatever the UFC would have to do to make it happen, they would do, including adding one extra fight on each card until each contestant gets his opportunity. So while that make take away some of the drama of the show, at least it’s one sign that the finished product is indeed better than last season’s version.
I can't remember the last season in which every contestant, win or lose, was offered the chance to fight in the UFC, whether it be the finale or a regular event. If I had to guess, the last time may have been "TUF 8" with Frank Mir and Big Nog as coaches.
Either way, it just goes to show how much the show has improved overall in recent years. From the format to the filming to the scouting of the talent themselves, this season has been a success thus far and for good reason.
Dana White: 'I'd consider Rashad' Evans for middleweight title shot
While the undefeated Weidman (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) is still in the running for a shot at UFC middleweight champion and pound-for-pound kingpin Anderson Silva (33-4 MMA, 16-0 UFC), White threw another possibility into the mix: UFC 156 co-headliner and light heavyweight Rashad Evans.
“I would consider Rashad,” White said. “If Rashad won on Saturday night and wanted to go to 185, we would consider that.”
“A lot of people think Chris Weidman is the No. 1 contender right now,” White said. “If Rashad made a move from 205 down to 185, it’d be safe to say he’s now No. 1.”
Chris Weidman can't catch a break.
And maybe this will finally be the fuel Evans needs to make the drop.
Dana White Happy to Never Have to Do Business with Randy Couture Again
“Randy Couture comes off as the greatest guy in the world, Captain America. He’s the furthest thing from it, and I’m happy to not be in business with him anymore,” said White during the UFC 156 media day on Thursday. “Now I don’t have to be in business with him ever again.”
White’s comments may come as a shock to some, but he maintains they won’t be a shock to anyone that actually knows Couture.
“99.9 percent of the people, that won’t be shocking at all, people that actually know him, not people who watch him on TV,” said White.
It's no surprise that White is angry at Couture for doing this. As an ambassador for the UFC, who appears almost weekly on UFC programming, he has every right to be. However, in terms of doing what he feels is best for him, Couture has always marched to his own beat. We need to look no further than '07 for proof of that.
I've always heard rumors of about Couture being a completely different person behind the scenes, but never lent much credence to them. Maybe it's the case after all.
White says UFC was close to Fedor Emelianenko-Brock Lesnar stadium fight
“We were in deep talks with him,” White said following the post-fight news conference for UFC on FOX 6 in Chicago. “We were that close to signing him recently. Right before his dad died. We were right there. When I was talking about doing the big Dallas Texas stadium show? It was going to be Brock Lesnar vs. (Fedor).
“Remember when I met with him and said it didn’t go well? It actually went well. It went well, and Brock wanted to fight Fedor. Then (Fedor’s) dad died, and he was done.”
“He said, ‘I want to spend the rest of my life with my family,’” White said. “(UFC CEO) Lorenzo (Fertitta met with him). We were negotiating for months. After his dad died and he said he was done or whatever, Brock said, ‘I’m done, too.”’
And here we all thought that a trip to Cowboys Stadium would only have involved Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva.
One-on-One with UFC President Dana White
It was a really cool, fun time training every day, boxing. So one day we’re at set and Robert De Niro comes in. De Niro is there because Angelo Dundee, they flew Dundee in. We’re in a room way smaller than this. Tiny little room, right? And Angelo Dundee is talking and Robert De Niro is filming him with a camcorder because he wants to get all of his mannerisms and see the way he talks and everything else.
So you’re De Niro and I’m me. We’re all standing up. So they get done with this whole thing with Dundee and we leave. I think we went and ate or something. Me and Mark went and ate and came back and Mark grabs me and pulls me aside and says, ‘Dana, you got to stop staring at Bobby. You’re freaking him out.’
I’m like, ‘Mark it’s f—-ing Robert De Niro, man. I’m in a room with DiNiro and I guess I was staring at him the whole time.’ He’s like, I’m telling you man, if you don’t stop staring at him you’re not going to be able to go back in the room. You’re totally freaking him out. So I said, ‘Okay, I’ll stop staring at De Niro.’
Be sure to click on the link above and read the rest of the interview Wertheim did with Dana. Probably one of the better ones that I've read in a while.
“When we did the press conference down in Brazil, Silva hadn’t even agreed to fight him,” White said. “That fight wasn’t happening. I had them bring Anderson to the place where the press conference was, and we sat in a room for three hours fighting about the fight.”
Fans may remember the April 24 news conference in Rio de Janeiro for its late start. And White said that late start was because he and his biggest star were at odds over Silva signing on for the rematch.
Silva, as should come as little surprise, is not a fan of the brashness and trash talk that led up to UFC 117, and the talk that Sonnen has continued for nearly two years since then. But when Sonnen got on the plane with White, he flew to Brazil with no guarantee of a fight – only the hope that White could get Silva to agree to the rematch.
“Yeah, (Chael knew),” White said. “He knew there was no fight. (What Chael said) was true, absolutely true. We went down there to make that fight. We set up a press conference, and I had to get it done.”
As interesting as that story is and was, I'd be even more intrigued to find out what the UFC's plans were for the press conference had Anderson not agreed to the bout. Would they have allowed Sonnen to call him out again in his home country? Or would Dana and Chael have just held a "state of the UFC" address?
Dana White: Shogun Would Rather Be Cut Than Face Glover Teixeira
But according to UFC President Dana White, Shogun wanted no part of that fight for whatever reason. He was so serious in fact that he said he’d rather be released than to fight Teixeira for his next bout.
“Shogun didn’t want to fight Glover Teixeira. He said he would rather be cut then fight him,” White revealed in an interview with Fuel TV following UFC on FX 3.
“Shogun didn’t mind fighting Brandon Vera, so he is fighting him. Shogun is a warrior; he has fought everyone from PRIDE, to Dan Henderson in his last fight. It’s just a weird situation.”