clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dana White UFC 263 press conference highlights: Adesanya vs Whittaker, Nate Diaz next fight and more

UFC President, Dana White, sat with press for more than 30 minutes after UFC 263 updating us on the lay of the land following another big card for the promotion. Here’s what he said ...

MMA: JUN 10 UFC 263 Press Conference Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Dana White was in a talkative mood following a successful UFC 263 event in Glendale, Ariz., last night (Sat., June 12, 2021) that saw the company smash the Gila River Arena’s gate record with more than 17,000 fiesty fans in attendance. UFC’s president held court on every topic the assembled press corps could think to ask about (watch full video here), and rather than break this down into 50 articles we figured why not consolidate everything White had to say into one article. So let’s break this down point by point.

On Israel Adesanya’s Dominating Performance Over Marvin Vettori (HIGHLIGHTS):

“Adesanya, before this fight happened, maybe two or three days ago, we got the word that he wants to fight again in October. It’s like, he hasn’t even fought yet and this kid is already talking about his next fight. I love that, Adesanya has become a very badass champion for us. So we’ll figure out him and Whittaker ASAP.”

“You’re talking about New Zealand or Australia? I would highly doubt it. That’s like asking if we can go to Canada in October, they’re pretty much in the same boat.”

“Adesanya’s feint game is off the charts and he looks better with every fight. This guy has been an outstanding kickboxer his entire life, but what I’m really impressed about is his wrestling. You’ve gotta imagine that Team Vettori worked a lot on getting him against the fence, taking him down, getting on top of him and roughing him up. And they literally could not do it tonight. So he got into a position where he couldn’t take him down and he couldn’t stand with him. Every place was a bad place for Vettori tonight.”

On Brandon Moreno Defeating Deiveson Figueiredo To Become UFC’s First Mexican-Born Champion (HIGHLIGHTS):

“I’ll be brutally honest with you. Going into this fight, I didn’t see how Moreno wins this fight. Figueiredo is a savage, and I thought the second fight was going to be much different than the first. And I was right, but I was wrong. Good for him, incredible performance tonight. Looked like Figueiredo couldn’t get off. He was slow. Moreno made it look easy, man. And he’s the first ever Mexican born champion for the UFC so good for him.”

“I think Moreno is [a star] already. Winning the title tonight and being the first ever [Mexican born UFC champ], I think that’s it. I think we’re on our way with that kid. Now he’s in a place where he’s gotta win. This kid starts rattling off title defenses, then holy shit, I bet we’ve got a big one.”

On Figueiredo’s Performance:

“[The weight cut] has to be [an issue]. The guy’s an absolute savage and he hasn’t been in his last two fights. Again, I don’t want to take anything away from Moreno — Moreno looked great.”

White’s Thoughts On Leon Edwards’ Win Over Nate Diaz (HIGHLIGHTS):

“Leon Edwards, kid with the worst luck ever in UFC history, goes in tonight in a five-round fight against a tough durable Nate Diaz who is always dangerous. And tonight was a great learning experience for him. And he looked incredible. The entire fight. Even when he got hurt. Kept his composure, and I think it was a little bit he got stung and he got tired. If you think about it, that kid hasn’t fought in a year and a half too. So great performance.”

“[Jorge vs. Leon] is always a fight we can make. That fight’s always going to be hanging out there. I think Leon tonight, Leon’s the number 3 ranked guy in the world. We’ll see what’s next for him, I’m not sure it’s Masvidal but Colby Covington is the next guy in line for the title, so we’ll see what happens.”

What’s Next For Nate Diaz:

“He’s a fan favorite, people love him win lose or draw. I don’t know, we’ll see what’s next. The punishment he took ... his leg was done in the first round. He went five rounds and took a lot more leg kicks. Bleeding out both sides of his head, one was squirting this way and one was squirting this way. And he was still ... doing what the Diaz brothers do. Working the whole fight to get into Leon’s head and trying to make him make a mistake, and then he eventually caught him in the fifth round. He’s unbelievable. He’s going to be asking us for a six round fight next time.”

On More Five-Round Non-Title Or Main Event Fights:

“I guarantee everyone in this room has watched a badass fight and said, ‘Man I wish this was five rounds.’ There’s been so many of these fights that I wish ... but we can’t keep doing that. We can’t. Diaz really wanted to do it so we sat in that room that I talk about that we’ll be in on Tuesday and decided we’d do it. I don’t want to make a habit of it. Co-main, main event, if it’s championship. And all main events are five rounds. But yeah, we can make that decision sometimes. Not saying we will, but we can.”

White’s Update On Who’s Next For Francis Ngannou:

“Derrick Lewis is getting that fight. It’s Derrick Lewis’s fight. And then Jon Jones, hopefully, will be ready for the winner.”

White On Paulo Costa Pulling Out Of His August Fight (Details):

“Our relationship is fine. He said some nutty shit and I straightened it out. That’s how I look at it. Do I know what’s next for him? Sounds like nothing. Sounds like he’s going to sit out and hang out for a while. I don’t know what. He said ‘I want to be paid more’ because of what all these YouTube stars are making. Apparently he didn’t see his last fight.”

White On Demian Maia Retiring:

“I think that was his last fight. It was the last fight on his deal, he’s 44 years old. He’s been so good at getting in there and getting the takedown, getting on top of people and just strangling them or grabbing something and twisting it until you quit. He just couldn’t get it done tonight. He’s 44 years old, he’s a great guy, he’s had a great career, and yes I would say that’s probably it.”

If UFC Would Help RIZIN FF Come Back To America:

“I like Sakakibara, even when we were really hardcore competitors he was a fun guy to compete with. I don’t know. I’m not saying that I would but I’m not saying that I wouldn’t either. At the time that we competed, when UFC and PRIDE were first coming up, it was such a different time in the sport. I don’t know.”

Clarifying UFC’s Position On ‘Long-Term Health Care’ For Fighters:

“Listen, we’re working on stuff like that all the time. We’re working on this brain stuff. We’ve been spending millions of dollars on brain stuff for years and now all this psychedelic stuff is happening. So we’re trying to figure out, a lot of guys are interested in that, we think a lot of guys are interested. We’re always looking to make things better, safer for the fighters. I don’t know about health care forever. Does anyone have a job where they get health care forever when they leave? That’s pretty crazy. Let’s all go work there. I don’t think anybody does it.”

Whether UFC Will Hold ‘Fight Nights’ Outside The APEX:

“I’m going to ride the rest of the year out at the Apex. If everything opens ... I don’t know. The answer is I’m just looking at doing the Apex. If things go the other way much faster than it’s looking like it’s gonna, maybe I would travel some of the fight nights. But as of now I’m not planning on it. It’s just easier to stay home and do what we’re doing now. Not saying it’s the right thing to do.”

“I keep telling you guys it’s like these people still sitting at home with a nice shirt and no pants doing Zoom calls all day. That’s what the Apex is like for us. We do need to get back out there and start going to do different Fight Nights in different arenas, but I’m cool doing them at the Apex for the rest of the year.”

For complete UFC 263: “Adesanya vs. Vettori 2” results and play-by-play, click HERE.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania