It's no secret that 2012 was a very trying and difficult year for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), as well as for its president, Dana White.
I touched on most of it in a "Binder Full Of Meaningful UFC Fights" back in October and I don't really feel like rehashing all of it again right here. Here is the Cliffs Notes version for mixed martial arts (MMA) fans who are completely out of touch (cue Hall & Oates):
Everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong, for the UFC in 2012.
The good news, of course, is that we are less than one week away from a New Year, a clean slate. But, before White can even get to hit that reset button, UFC 155 will mercifully close out 2012 with "Dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2" from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It's a fight card that has been plagued with various injuries and in some cases even scavenged for spare parts, but the main event is great and the co-featured fight of the night between Lightweight standouts Jim Miller vs. Joe Lauzon should a hoot.
And I'm certainly tuning in anytime Alan Belcher laces up the mitts.
Ariel Helwani caught up with White earlier this afternoon in "Sin City" to talk shop for nearly 25 minutes. It wasn't an Earth-shattering, news-breaking conversation by any stretch, but it did have a few decent nuggets.
Here are the highlights:
- Possible injuries to Junior dos Santos and/or Cain Velasquez prior to their historic first encounter at UFC on Fox 1 in Nov. 2011 (White swears he knows nothing).
- The return of Chris Leben from substance abuse-induced suspension (White cares about him).
- Todd Duffee and his comeback after being unceremoniously released (White seems apathetic).
- Boxing (Copycats!).
- The future of the pay-per-view (PPV) model (It will endure).
- UFCs 'odd' 2012 (It wasn't 2011 success-wise; bit was still good, even though it could have been better).
- UFC 149 debacle in Calgary (Still haunts him, says he plans to make it up to fans there).
- Current feelings on MMA Media (Sherdog to be credentialed again, but Loretta Hunt and Josh Gross can go pound sand ... still).
- Strikeforce collapse (Not his company, but he's happy for the fighters who stuck it out).
- International expansion (More is coming much to the chagrin of Ireland)
- Meniere's surgery update (He plans to have it two days before UFC on FX 7 in Jan. and travel to Brazil with stitches behind his ear)
- And he ends with a message to you, the UFC fan
Enjoy the full version when you have the time to spare.