The MMA world is buzzing in anticipation over Dana White’s huge, gigantic and, don’t forget, mind-blowing announcement. For the uninformed, here is what the UFC president said in a recent interview with ESPN the Magazine with regards to said announcement:
“You have no idea some of the stuff that we have planned. I’m going to make an announcement next week that is going to blow people’s minds. That deal is done, but my employees don’t even know yet. I’m renting out a place next Thursday and I’m going to tell them. Then we’ll make the announcement later that day. It’s an indicator of where this business is going over the next five years.”
MMARated.com has been scratching its collective brain trying to guess what the announcement will be. UFC on FOX? Maybe. The return of Randy Couture? Yeah, right. Kimbo vs. Brock? Keep dreaming.
Truth be told, we have our suspicions (TUF going live?) but we would like to hand this one over the people. So, here’s the deal:
The person who correctly guesses Dana White’s announcement (or comes the closest) in the comments section will win a 5TH RoundRandy Couture action figure signed by “The Natural” himself.
Don’t you just love the synergy involved in this contest? Dana and Randy together again.
Anyways, guess away and may the best predictor win.
Stephen Brunt, one of Canada’s top sports reporters, has a solid article in The Globe And Mail today looking at the rise of the Ultimate Fighting Championship as the promotion gets set to hold their first event north of the border. Shockingly, there aren’t too many inaccuracies in the article except for his writing that the UFC produces ten PPVs a year when it’s closer to thirteen or fourteen.
The highlight of the article, though, is some brilliant quotes from Dana White. In the past, every time someone asked White about HBO he always seemed to praise them while holding out hope that they would soon come to an agreement. Well, hope no more. That door has officially been shut.
On HBO Sports:
“If I had to hear one more time how many [expletive] Emmys they’d won, I was going to jump out the window. I’m kicking their ass on pay-per-view, no matter how many Emmys they’ve won.”
I have to admit that as a former employee of HBO Sports, I found that quote pretty funny. Other goodness from White includes his take on the Elite XC and CBS marriage:
“I think it’s horrible. It sucks, to be honest with you. They’re going after the freak show aspect which is everything we stayed away from. When we started to build this thing, it was all about the sport, about the real athletes. It sucks that CBS is going that route. CBS doesn’t know anything about MMA. Everything they know about MMA is from me being in there talking to them about it.”
Say what you will about White but reporters covering the MMA beat have got to love him. He fills up notebooks quicker than Houston Alexander gets knocked out by guys named James Irvin.
The UFC held a conference call today to officially announce that Georges St. Pierre (14-2-0) (right) will be replacing the injured Matt Serra at UFC 79 to challenge Matt Hughes (41-5-0) (left) for the interim Welterweight title.
Hot diggity, the UFC really worked their magic with this one. Sure, we all wanted to see Serra and Hughes settle their differences once and for all but Hughes-GSP III is just as intriguing.
And, one has to believe, Dana White will be all smiles regardless of who walks away with the interim title come 12/29. If GSP wins, it will potentially set up a great rematch against Serra in Montreal come April. I have attended many great events in Montreal and I can assure you that you will never hear a crowd like the one that will go nuts when a title-wearing GSP walks into the cage to avenge his loss to Serra.
Or, Hughes defeats St. Pierre for the second time, captures the interim title and Serra vs. Hughes, a feud that has been built up for over a year, is back on.
Regardless, UFC 79 is shaping up to be a tremendous card. Already announced was Silva vs. Liddell, Sokoudjou vs. Machida and, now, this.
Dana White, Georges St. Pierre and Matt Hughes were all present at a special UFC 79 conference call earlier today. No huge news coming out of it but Hughes definitely had some choice words for Serra that are worth checking out (including saying Serra is taking the easy way out and will be soon out of the UFC). Take a listen below.
Somewhere Vince McMahon must be smiling. First, Randy Couture announces he’ll be holding a press conference to discuss his resignation from the UFC. A couple of days later, coincidentally or not, the UFC decides to hold a press conference to announce their new TV deal with Spike beginning 30 minutes prior to Couture’s. Never a boring day in the world of MMA. Some of the main points discussed were:
The UFC has signed a new deal with Spike TV that runs through 2011. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Their current deal expires in 2008 meaning this new one will run for three-year. There will be at least four more seasons of The Ultimate Fighter and twelve Ultimate Fights Nights (four per year from ’09-’11). Also, a brand new “fight series” will be launching in 2010. No more details of this new fight series were made available.
UFC president Dana White said he did not schedule this press conference at the same time as Couture’s press conference. He claims it was simply a coincidence.
White said he has yet to speak to Couture and is waiting for Couture to call him back. However, in his press conference, Couture said he spoke to White and Lorenzo Fertita yesterday. Hmmm.
When asked about Fedor Emelianenko signing with M-1, White said that he was disappointed they couldn’t agree on a deal but that in all his dealings with Fedor’s management not once did they ever talk about Fedor. “It was always about his managers.” He also said “Fedor sucks. He’s not even in the top 5.” He also called Fedor’s agent, Vadim Finklestein, “a fucking liar.”
The deal with HBO is dead. The UFC is looking elsewhere. The reason they love Spike TV so much is because they have never tied them down. Spike allows them to look for partners, as well. HBO wasn’t as flexible.
Chuck Liddell, Wanderlei Silva and Brock Lesnar were also on the call.
Liddell never really thought about retiring after the Jardine loss and is not concerned with his last two losses. He thinks that a win over Silva will propel him back into the title picture.
White said that the winner of Silva-Liddell will definitely be considered a number one contender.
White said that the UFC is dying to come to Canada. A Montrealer can only hope…
Take a listen to the UFC press conference. White is asked to address the Couture situation right off the bat.