UFC President Dana White sat down with a small group of journalists after today’s UFC 109 press conference. We’ve got White’s comments on Brock Lesnar’s return date, Chael Sonnen’s inflammatory new interview style, Herschel Walker in MMA and more.
On Brock Lesnar’s impending return to the UFC:
We have to do these next two fights with Nogueira/Velasquez and Carwin/Mir and then we’ll figure out what we’re going to do. We have to do the fight in Australia first, and then the Newark fight. If those guys come out of the fight healthy (Carwin or Mir), then we’ll do that fight.
The earliest Brock will return? If everything goes perfectly, he could fight in July. The end of June or July.
On Chael Sonnen’s inflammatory comments in recent interviews:
I didn’t agree with 90% of the stuff he said. He said that there’s no such thing as a game plan. Really? So who are all of these guys who pretend to know what they’re doing in your corner? Are you telling me that you don’t want any cornermen?
Tell Randy Couture that there’s no such thing as a game plan. Randy Couture has won most of his fights based on incredible game plans.
Pretty much everything he said was dumb. It was crazy and made no sense. I like Chael and he’s a good guy, but I don’t agree with 90% of what he said in that interview.
On Randy Couture keeping an active schedule since his return to the UFC:
I can’t doubt this guy any more. I don’t know how anybody can. I’ve never seen anything like it. I was thinking that he was done when he was 37.
On who he thinks are the biggest stars in the company:
Listen, we have a ton of guys who are big stars that can headline fights. But there’s no doubt right now that the king is Brock Lesnar. Number two? That’s tough. Chuck Liddell has always been a big draw, but he hasn’t fought in awhile. Georges St. Pierre is big. Anderson Silva, Randy Couture. Forrest Griffin is a big draw.
On ESPN’s coverage of mixed martial arts in the United States:
Do you know what ESPN was talking about all day yesterday? They were talking about Herschel Walker and Jose Canseco. Are you kidding me? Every show, they’re talking about Herschel Walker and Jose Canseco. You’ve got Brock Lesnar, Georges St. Pierre, Anderson Silva. All of these guys are incredible athletes who put a ton of time into training for these fights, and all you can talk about is goofy ass Jose Canseco? Are you kidding?
On Herschel Walker’s Strikeforce fight and its impact on the MMA world:
I don’t think it’s bad for MMA if this guy wants to go out and fight. But to give him one ounce of coverage? It’s retarded.
If he wants to have a hobby, that’s fine. But if he fights anybody who is any good whatsoever, he’s going to get beat. He’s one of the greatest athletes ever, but I can’t take him seriously in this sport. It’s impossible.
On Tito Ortiz and his comments about Chuck Liddell’s alleged bout with alcoholism:
It’s not true. I never stepped in and had an intervention for Chuck Liddell, and he never went to rehab or anything like that. Tito says some crazy stuff sometimes, you know? Chuck Liddell is not drinking. He stopped drinking to get ready for this fight.
Chuck hates Tito. He doesn’t understand why I brought him back. He doesn’t think he belongs here.
On Kimbo Slice and his next move in the Octagon:
Kimbo Slice is fighting Matt Mitrione in Montreal. I know that much. That fight is happening in Canada.
On Strikeforce as competition for the UFC:
Yeah, I worry about Strikeforce all the time. Come on. Do you know how long I’ve been hearing about this? First it was Affliction and then it’s somebody else. No, I don’t worry about Strikeforce. Strikeforce is a lower-level show where guys who aren’t in the UFC can go and make some money. It’s never going to be anything more than that, ever.