Photo via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting
Just yesterday, Lyoto Machida expressed interest in a potential bout with UFC welterweight champ, Georges St. Pierre. In a video interview, courtesy of MMA Crazy TV, Dana shuts down that idea, and he also discusses some big topics in the light heavyweight and middleweight divisions.
Heading into UFC on Fuel TV 5 this Saturday night (Sept, 29, 2012) in Nottingham, England, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White and many other Zuffa officials have been open to the press. Today, MMA Crazy TV caught up with White, where he touched on most of the big issues going on in mixed martial arts (MMA) today.
"I just don't see him being out that long -- it doesn't seem like it's gonna be that bad. If it was gonna be that bad, he'd be in some serious pain, and we'd know [if he was injured]. Which is amazing considering that armbar."
As the interview progressed, one interviewer even said that White had "filleted Jones like a Benihana steak" prior to the pay-per-view (PPV) event, to which White immediately disagreed. He went on to be complimentary of Jones' showing against Belfort, and said he was impressed with his overall performance.
After talking about Jones, the natural talking point to move to was the status of the light heavyweight division, specifically, Lyoto Machida. Being that he was promised a title shot, but had that promise taken away after turning down Jones for UFC 152, many fans wondered about where the former champion stands in the division.
White's response was pretty simple (though not completely definitive):
"We'll see what happens. Machida will probably fight Dan Henderson. We're still working it all out."
After discussing Machida shortly, the conversation quickly shifted back to Jones, and then to how White handled the mess that led to the cancellation of UFC 151. White was still arguing that he didn't go too hard on Jones, but he did say he was harder on someone else:
"I honestly don't think I went after him as hard as I went after Greg Jackson. [...] I don't hate Greg Jackson, I don't dislike him or anything like that, I just don't agree with him. I think he took him [Jones] out of a fight that was a lot better for him and put him in a more dangerous one, that's what I think. I think Jon Jones' arm would be feeling 100 percent great today if he'd taken the other fight."
Pretty odd that he claims to not dislike someone whom he called a "F***ing sport killer" not too long ago. When asked, White also made sure to say that he did not dislike Jackson's style of coaching, something for which has drawn much criticism for before.
The interview again headed to the subject of the state of light heavyweight, and White discussed the pecking order, including where Chael Sonnen stood just prior to the UFC 151 debacle. White also quickly scoffed at something Machida made news for just yesterday:
"He [Sonnen] was the one who stepped up to the plate. All the other guys that were number one in the pecking order, every one of them said 'hell no'. Then I see a thing today where Machida's like 'I want to fight GSP'... where the f*** did that come from? Him [GSP] and Anderson makes all the sense in the world, him and Machida makes no sense whatsoever. Doesn't that tell you something, when everyone was looking for that number one contender spot, and now no one wants to be the number one contender in the light heavyweight division?"
"I think Anderson Silva is one of those guys, I mean, he's broken every record in UFC history, I think he's gonna get to the point where he wants to challenge himself and try new things. Try Georges St. Pierre, try Jon Jones."
When asked more about some of the biggest fights the UFC can put on, White went even further with potential matchups, all involving Anderson Silva:
"I mean, Jon Jones and Anderson Silva obviously would be a big fight, GSP/Anderson would be a big fight. I've got to be honest with you, I like Bisping vs. Anderson. I think that Bisping doesn't get the credit he deserves for as good of a fighter as he is. I've always thought Bisping looked good. I've always thought his wrestling was way underrated, I thought his striking was underrated. The guy had one big loss to [Dan] Henderson in his entire career, and because of his personality, and the way that he is, people like to stick it to Bisping. Bisping's awesome."
White also talked about Bisping's other losses in the UFC, and said that "The Count" has only lost to some of the best fighters around. He also said that a fight between Bisping and Anderson could potentially be in the United Kingdom, which could be interesting to see.
Here is the full video of Dana White's interview: