Dana White Confident in UFC Star Power Even Without Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

Ronda Rousey UFC 157LOS ANGELES — Dana White is a passionate man. Most who follow the UFC and mixed martial arts know this to be true.

While some might call him delusional for the proclamations he’s made in the past — everything ranging from the UFC being bigger than the NFL to who he thinks is the pound-for-pound best fighter — he’s rarely, if ever, backed off his stance.

This week was no different.

White said he isn’t worried about his company’s recent loss of star power stemming from the departure of Georges St-Pierre and gruesome injury to Anderson Silva. Both are out of the Octagon for indefinite periods of time, but White says his company will weather the storm of missing its two biggest pay-per-view powerhouses.

“Until Anderson Silva kicked Vitor Belfort in the face, nobody cared about Anderson Silva. Then he blew up and became this huge star,” White said. “Now everybody is like, you’re [expletive] dead when he leaves. What’s gonna happen? This is a professional sport. The window of opportunity for athletes [is only so big]. There’s always the next guy and the next guy and the next guy.”

White pointed to past experiences of UFC stars departing from the company as examples that show his company will remain strong in the pay-per-view market and on FOX networks.

Chuck LiddellMatt Hughes, and many other guys who helped build this company, everybody asked me, ‘What are you gonna do when these guys leave?’” he said. “They’re all gone. They’re all retired. And here we are talking about the growth.”

The brash UFC boss predicted critics will change their tune if someone like UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman finishes Vitor Belfort in their upcoming main event this summer.

“People are like, ‘Can Chris Weidman carry this thing?’” he said. “If Chris Weidman beats Vitor Belfort, people are all gonna be going, ‘Holy [expletive], Chris Weidman … ‘”

The unexpected superstar is something White has stumbled upon time and time again, most recently, he said, with Alexander Gustafsson. Critics slammed the UFC and White for matching light heavyweight champion Jon Jones with the Swedish fighter, predicting the champ would easily walk through Gustafsson in their fight.

That was far from the case when their UFC 165 fight was all done.

Gustafsson put on a performance that turned doubters into believers, and although he lost a decision, he gave Jones the toughest fight of his career.

“Overnight, Alexander Gustafsson becomes a star,” White claimed. “All the people that were bitching that we made this fight – we don’t do the rematch, [and they said], ‘What the [expletive], how can you not make this rematch?!’”

And new shining stars keep popping up in the sky that is the UFC roster, according to White. He went down his list of titleholders and hyped his fighters as being capable of making blockbuster fight cards.

Anthony Pettis, if he can stay healthy, is a [expletive] superstar,” he declared. “Ronda Rousey is a massive star, arguably one of the biggest stars in the UFC right now.”

view original article >>

Related News

  • 22 days ago
  • 81 views

LAS VEGAS - UFC president Dana White held his annual Fan Expo question-and-answer session with the fans on Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. As usual, the event was a mix of the serious, the less serious, and the absurd, ranging from detailed questions about the company's business to painful-to-watch attempts at business pitches. One thing the UFC boss did indicate, however, is that he could very well by on the same wavelength as the fans who want the much-discussed potential Ander more

  • 22 days ago
  • 47 views

LAS VEGAS -- UFC president Dana White discusses job opportunities in the UFC, Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz, Joe Rogan's fighting future, Gina Carano, Georges St-Pierre, and much more Friday evening at the UFC Fan Expo. more

  • 27 days ago
  • 154 views

In UFC president Dana White's latest video blog, we go behind the scenes of his appearance with Mike Tyson on the Jim Norton Show, and then it's off to Asia for a promotional tour. more

  • 25 days ago
  • 51 views

Dana White wants everyone to know that business is booming in UFC land. In fact, it's 'never been bigger.' One of the more consistent narratives in MMA for 2014 has been the UFC's declining business. While we don't know any specific numbers for UFC 174, the early talk is that it did less than 100,000 pay-per-view buys, a number that seemed unthinkably low in very recent years. Jon Jones hasn't developed into a star capable of pulling much more than 350,000 buys, despite being a freakish talent w more

  • 21 days ago
  • 204 views

That guy in the truck, however... Let's start off with Joe Rogan getting put on blast by UFC President Dana White for asking Ronda Rousey if she was willing to rescue the UFC 176 pay-per-view (PPV) event in Los Angeles, Calif., which takes place in less than a month and is without a main event (because of this). U mad? Yikes. Turns out Rogan was not to blame for the post-fight faux pas, according to comments White made at the UFC 175 post-fight press conference (watch the replay here), not long more

  • 10 days ago
  • 44 views

Dana White isn’t shy when it comes to making bold claims, but perhaps the most curious of his recent claims is his assertion that Ronda Rousey is the biggest star the UFC has ever seen. What exactly does it mean to be a star, though? It has something to do with renown, critical acclaim, transcendence, mass appeal and the ability to both earn and generate money. However, the truth is that superstardom, as a concept, isn’t particularly well defined. There’s an arbitrariness that makes measuring it more

  • 8 days ago
  • 193 views

UFC President Dana White, however, is not ready to commit. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight attraction Conor McGregor was able to put his money where his mouth is by stopping Diego Brandao in the main event of UFC Fight Night 46 (full results here), which took place last Saturday (July 19, 2014) live on Fight Pass from the O2 Arena in Dublin, Ireland. Dustin Poirier was not impressed. In fact, the No. 6-ranked "Diamond" is looking to become the first man under the ZUFFA umbrell more

  • 2 days ago
  • 2 views

UFC star Nick Diaz signed a contract extension on July 24 at Zuffa headquarters. He then sat down with UFC.com to talk about his future. more

  • 28 days ago
  • 63 views

The UFC, including president Dana White, went out of its way to defend Chael Sonnen’s last drug test failure. But after the fighter-turned-TV analyst popped positive for HGH and EPO, something has to change.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC more