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« | Home | »

Dana White: I haven’t been approached with criticism about the GSP UFC 129 fight

By Zach Arnold | May 1, 2011

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From a post-fight interview with MMAFighting.com:

DANA WHITE: “If you are looking for criticism from me, which sounds like you are, the only criticism I have is he was throwing a weird overhand right, like this… looping overhand right, which I’ve never seen him do before. Usually he throws that straight Superman punch, his punches are straight down the pike, I was trying to figure out why he kept throwing the same punch all night. He was throwing it hard, like he was trying to knock him out, like he was trying to force a knockout, so…”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Dan Henderson caught Jake Shields with that kind of punch, so maybe he was trying to recreate that.”

DANA WHITE: “Maybe. Dan Henderson didn’t finish him. *chuckles*”

ARIEL HELWANI: “That’s true. So, is the criticism fair? Because, you know, I’m sure you heard from some fans and people talking already, he’s not going for the finish, he doesn’t seem to have that killer instinct. Would you agree with that?”

DANA WHITE: “Nobody said anything to me. When I was leaving here tonight, everybody said great fight, nobody said anything negative about the fight whatsoever to me.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “So, no problems in terms of the fact that he hasn’t finished anyone in a while or anything like that? He’s just fighting tough guys. in your opinion.”

DANA WHITE: “Yeah, listen, when you’re at the level he’s at, you’re going to continue to fight the best guys in the world and, you know… Georges St. Pierre keeps winning. He keeps winning. He isn’t catching anybody with any exciting front kicks or anything like that, but he’s a winner.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “What did you think of Jake Shields?”

DANA WHITE: “I thought Jake… uh… you know… he busted up Georges’ eye… I don’t know what his game plan was. I was always interested in this fight because I honestly didn’t know what was going to happen. I said maybe Georges is going to use his wrestling defense to stand up and try to use his hands against Jake and I always wondered if Jake could take him down. I thought Georges would say, ‘I’m a great wrestler, I’ll take him down and get right into his game because I know I’m better than him at that anyway and beat him there.’ I honestly didn’t know what was going to happen.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Is there even any fight at 170 that interests you for Georges?”

DANA WHITE: “Yeah, there’s always going to be fights out there at 170 that are interesting, there’s going to be new guys coming up, you know, Nick Diaz is out there…”

ARIEL HELWANI: “But can you make that fight?”

DANA WHITE: “Um… can I make that fight? We’ll see what happens.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “But he says he wants to go box first. What is the likelihood of him boxing before ever fighting back in the UFC?”

DANA WHITE: “Well, he fights for Strikeforce, you know, he’s a Strikeforce champion. He wants to box. I’m going to go to Stockton this week and talk to him.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “You’re making an appearance in the 209?”

DANA WHITE: “Oh yeah. I am.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Don’t get slapped.”

DANA WHITE: “It’s going to be tough to do there.”

Topics: Canada, MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 30 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

30 Responses to “Dana White: I haven’t been approached with criticism about the GSP UFC 129 fight”

  1. RossenSearchTeam says:

    “…he was throwing a weird overhand right, …”

    Maybe he was trying something that had been working for him in training.

    then he gets out there and suddenly its not working like it was so he keeps trying it thinking maybe he just flubbed it that time?

    Just a guess.

    he also said that he was gonna try and get the finish this time so maybe he was practicing that bombshot.

    Thats also kind of why i’d like to see him have a fight or two @ 185 before confronting silva about it.

    He can train for 185’s in the Gym, but when he’s out there actually scrapping to survive its gonna be a little different.

    What seems more important is that he start using his wrestling again. he’s pretty good at striking, but there are much better strikers.

    He’s not going to outstrike Diaz or silva.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    1)GSP still couldn’t see out of his eye when he left the hospital last night. So people need to lay off him a little bit.

    2) The event overall was awesome. Yet all the online fans and media can talk about is the main event…. Of course it’s basically all complaints. Give it a rest people. We saw fights ended with a spinning backfist, flying triangle, AND front kick….. All during one event. And there was an awesome 5 round title fight that is probably the 2nd or 3rd best fight of the year so far. This was a great event before the main event…. And the main event wasn’t that bad to ruin the event in any way.

    3) Speaking of the GSP hate…. People complain about him not finishing…. Let’s look at his last six opponents and their track records before fighting him:

    a) Jake Shields – Not finished in a fight in 11 years.
    b) Josh Koscheck – Finished 2 times in 19 fights.
    c) Dan Hardy – Not finished since 2005 (I know he was finished since)
    d) Thiago Alves – Finished twice in 11 UFC fights. (The most finishable of the bunch).
    e) BJ Penn – Finished once by Matt Hughes after he broke a rib (and took fight on short notice).
    f) Jon Fitch – Not finished since 2002.

    This isn’t exactly an easy line-up to finish fights against. I agree that GSP has showed somewhat a lack of killer instinct. His level of competition needs to be kept in mind. He is fighting guys on big winning streaks who also have an amazing track record of not being finished.

    4) Anybody know if the 4 hour window is going to be the norm? I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it will give them a much less rushed window to hype up fights and show prelims. Some of the pre fight video packages were very good. On the other hand, I was sort of looking forward to having the events end by midnight and the post fight press conference ending by 1am so I can get sleep at a reasonable hour.

    5) Nick Diaz doesn’t deserve a title shot against GSP right now. He needs to fight a good wrestler first to see if he has adapted his game. If his brother getting suplexed like a ragdoll is any indication, my bet is that he hasn’t.

    6) My 2 favorite fights of the night were Machida/Couture and MacDonald/Diaz. I loved watching Diaz get thrown around and bullied around. He wasn’t acting so tough by the end. He is now 8-5 in the UFC. If Gamburyan never got injured in the TUF Finale, he would have probably lost that fight too. And the Machida fight was great to see Machida play the passive aggressive game perfectly like he has done in the past.

    7) I enjoy how the UFC is doing a lot more production for events. They had “UFC Central” from their website both before and after. But switching from Facebook to SpikeTV to PPV to UFC.tv is just too much work. I would love to see allof it streamlined and made much easier to see then scattered over so many different broadcast areas. And the Facebook feed HAS TO get better. The picture quality is horrible. Which shouldn’t be happening becaue they have great picture feeds for the weigh-ins and postfight press conferences.

    • RossenSearchTeam says:

      That was pretty interesting about GSP’s opponents past records. I’ve never had a problem with him finishing or not because he’s been kicking butt anyway, but that is an interesting consolidation of the facts.

      Makes sense to me.

      Regarding point #5, we know that Diaz wont get past a good wrestler.
      But one of those nitwits over at that terrible bloodyelbow made a good point, that putting Diaz in against a contender like Kos or Fitch would be squandering his appeal.

      Right now he holds the SF belt so that is a good enough justification to leap frog him and throw him right at GSP while Diaz is hot. Then we’ll see if GSP is silly enough to try and strike with him or whether GSP even remembers how to power wrestle anymore.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        Diaz has no appeal to the UFC audience yet. Shields was basically an unknown, despite being on CBS a few times. The Showtime audience is not he same as the typical UFC audience.

        Diaz needs at least one fight first in the UFC before getting a title shot or it’s a failure from a promotional point of view.

        Sort of the same way as how the UFC is expecting too much from the Feather and Bantam champions right away to carry a PPV when nobody really knows them yet. I have said in the past that this year will be a big transition for the UFC. Looks like that trend will continue. They are going to be taking some bumps on the head as the fans get use to all of these new fighters.

        • David m says:

          This makes no sense. Shields is the most boring fighter in mma; Nick is the most exciting. Shields has no charisma; Nick is mersmerizing in his craziness. Jake had never fought in the Ufc before; Nick had a handful of Ufc fights.

          Nick has a buzz; people talk about his fights. Shields does not. You really think the ufc audience doesn’t have youtube or the internet and is unable to ascertain who nick diaz is or see his fights? You are either lying or think all ufc fans are retards.

          In the Shields v Gsp promo they had to show Jake grappling with a teammate because he had never landed a blow of consequence in his entire career. Nick has highlights for days.

          Also, equating Nick with his brother is entirely worthless. Nick is bigger, stronger, faster, a better boxer, tougher, and more experienced than Nate, who should go back to 155 where he is elite (he lost a very close split decision to Maynard).

        • 45 Huddle says:

          You are being funny today. Let’s start off with one of your funniest comments and work backwards:

          “Nate, who should go back to 155 where he is elite (he lost a very close split decision to Maynard).”

          The same guy who should have lost to a Featherweight in Gamburyan if it wasn’t for an injury? The same guy who lostto Joe Stevenson & Clay Guida. Are those guys elite? You aren’t even trying today.

          As for the Shields/Diaz comparison. Of course Diaz has a more sellable personality. But he still isn’t well known to UFC fans. Most people watch the UFC and that is it. It doesn’t matter how exciting he is outside of the UFC. That is only hitting a FRACTION on the UFC fanbase.

          You can only do so much with hype videos. Fans still need to be able to watch the fighter live first to him to really gain traction. Which makes it pointless to throw him directly into a title fight.

          Not to mention the tiny little problem in that he has avoided wrestlers for the last 5 years. Putting him against the most elite MMA Wrestler right off the bat would be like buying a $250,000 car without test driving it first. He needs to compete against a wrestler first.

        • David m says:

          Clay Guida is, sadly, an excellent fighter (even though to use your “logic”, he sucks because his brother isn’t as good as he is). Elite may have been a tad strong, but this is all unrelated to Nick Diaz.

          Your entire thesis that a fighter has to fight well in the Ufc before being given a title shot is destroyed by Jake Shields himself. Jake fought once in the ufc, looked horrible, and yet was given a title shot. In fact, his previous ufc experience was ignored in the hype video; basically the entire promotion of jake shields was based on his accomplishments OUTSIDE the ufc. So, rather than highlighting his ufc experience as a qualification for a title shot (as you posit with your trademark stupidity), his ufc tenure was entirely irrelevant.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          No. What I am saying is 2 things.

          1) From a promotional stand point, a fighter should have at least one fight in the UFC to get his face and name out there to the fans. This will maximize the title fight he will be in if he wins his first fight.

          2) From a purely Nick Diaz pointof view…. The guy has not fought the dominant form of martial arts in a long time. And he will be fighting the best person in that realm. As fans, we should at least known if we are going to see another GSP/Hardy. And this has happened in the UFC as well. Florian got no good wrestlers on his way to fighting Penn at UFC 101. Hardy got no good wrestlers on his way to fighting GSP. And that was bad matchmaking at the time….. And doesn’t need to happen again ever. As long as their is available talent, a fighter needs to be tested against all styles (reasonably) in order to get a title shot.

        • David M says:

          1. Look dude, in terms of getting someone’s face out to ze masses, Jake Shields’ only ufc fight was a horrid performance that hurt his stock. Nobody who bought UFC 129 did so because they thought he could win after his Kampmann performance. What, do you think guys called their friends and said “yo, Jake Shields is fighting GSP! He won a really questionable split decision against someone from Scandinavia who isn’t 1/10th as talented as GSP; I bet he is legit!”

          Of course not. Shields was promoted entirely as an outsider. Go watch the promo video. You are so insistent on saying fighting in the UFC beforehand matters, then why did they not talk about it in their tv commercials, which are obviously aimed at casual fans? It is ok to admit you are wrong; in fact people might actually gain respect for you if you did.

          2. Who fucking cares if Diaz will beat GSP? Is this a joke? Brock Lesnar got a title shot in like his 4th career pro fight. Fans don’t watch the UFC for the purity of the sport, we watch to be entertained. If you think seeing Jon Fitch fight GSP 10 times a year because he is the 2nd best guy in the division is a noble venture, then good for you. I want to be entertained, and Diaz is the most entertaining fighter out there. He also is the most serious challenge to GSP because he is a much better boxer than GSP, tougher, has better jiu jitsu, and he may be able to lure GSP into a slugfest by taunting him. Look, we know GSP can’t finish anyone; he certainly can’t finish Diaz, and over a 25 minute fight, GSP is going to get hit some, and if Diaz hurts him, we all know GSP doesn’t react well to that.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          1) If Diaz can’t stop the takedown, he is of no threat to GSP. Diaz has never been a huge threat off his back. He couldn’t even submit Sanchez back in the day.

          2) Shields still had a UFC fight to get him in front of the UFC masses. So say what you want, but it hasn’t been years since a fighter got a UFC Title Shot directly from outside the UFC. And just because they didn’t talk about it in a 30 second commercial (where there is so much time of course)…. Doesn’t mean they didn’t make him win a fight first in the UFC….. Evebn though he had already beaten Henderson at a weight above.

          3) GSP doesn’t react well to getting hit? He has completely gutted it out when bloodied up in the past. Did it against Shields. Did it in his first fight with Penn. GSP is still a great fighter when he is hit a few times.

        • david m says:

          1) I bet you thought Matt Serra was no threat to GSP too. Diaz is the best striker in the division, of course he is a threat. Can he stop the takedown? Who knows? I want to see what happens either way. He can make an interesting fight out of it.

          2) I recognize that he did in fact have a UFC fight previous to the title fight, but I just don’t think it mattered at all. Nick Diaz has more name recognition than Shields even now because people actually talk about his fights because he is exciting and insane.

          Do you think the UFC would have made Fedor fight a non title fight before putting him in a title match? Of course not. The drama is in the unknown champion, the outsider, coming in and killing the UFC champion. Would Diaz be favored against GSP? Of course not. But there is intrigue in the fight, and if Diaz gets leg-humped by Jon Fitch for 15 minutes, that makes Diaz look weak and ruins the only interesting fight in the division. Further, most people would rather die than watch Jon Fitch fight, so it is a double loss.

          3) GSP goes into survival mode after getting hit. After BJ raped his soul, GSP went from fighter mode to NAGA champion mode and just tried to hold BJ down without getting hit again. Against Shields he just threw jabs and overhand rights and showed no inclination to stay in the pocket or to exchange or to throw combos–just do the minimum possible to win. Against Serra he tapped out.

        • edub says:

          “After BJ raped his soul, GSP went from fighter mode to NAGA champion mode and just tried to hold BJ down without getting hit again.”

          You have some great revisionist history.

    • Jonathan says:

      Weren’t you trashing him along with everyone else last night 45 Huddle?

      “It’s not like GSP did much…”

      “The worst is when he actually stunned Shields a few times and made zero attempt to follow it up.”

      Maybe not trashing the buy, but those two quotes right there, from you last night, show that you feel the same way most everyone does about how he fought that fight.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        GSP lacks that true killer instinct at this point in his career. Anybody can see that.

        But fans are not looking at his level of opponent as a reason why he has had so many decisions lately.

        Take David M’s favorite fighter in Nick Diaz. If you put Diaz up against Penn, Fitch, Alves, Koscheck, Hardy, & Shields….. Forget about how many guys he finishes….. He doesn’t even go 3-3 against those guys….

        • David m says:

          The only person on that list who would be favored against Diaz is Fitch.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Thanks for even more laughes today.

          Fitch, Alves, Koscheck, & Shields would all be favorites over him.

        • David M says:

          Koscheck is too ego-centric for that. He would try to bang with Diaz, and end up crumpled. He has a massive ego and when Nick started taunting him, he would go into his Mike Tyson mode and end up getting clowned.

          Diaz would beat the breaks off Shields IMO; their standup is on entirely different levels and grappling-wise they are even.

          Hardy and Penn aren’t as good of strikers as Diaz and would struggle taking him down/doing anything with him on the ground (and it pains me to say that because BJ is actually my favorite fighter, not Diaz).

          Alves is overrated as a striker; he has no handspeed and I think Nick boxes his ears off–he is like 5 inches taller and has a lot more length and boxing skill than Alves.

          I think Diaz beats Fitch too, but I could certainly see Jon humping his way to a 3 round decision win in which he literally does not land a single blow on the feet or a single blow of consequence on the ground.

        • Joe says:

          Of course GSP’s opponents will have low rates of being finished. Guys who get title shots won’t have many losses much less have been finished too often or else they wouldn’t get the shot in the first place. However, I don’t think it’s wrong to wonder why a guy so much better than his opponents can’t finish at least one of them. The only guy on your list who I would call “unfinishable” would be Fitch (who, ironically, GSP came the closest to finishing) and Penn (who, ironically, was actually finished).

        • 45 Huddle says:

          David M,

          So all of these guys who have been fighting top competition for years are overrated?

          But the guy who ducked wrestlers for years and has only fought one Top 10 guy in a long time is somehow better?

          Thanksfor more laughes. You are on a roll.

  3. manapua says:

    The problem is that 170 has a lot of guys Diaz may not be able to beat. I loved seeing Dana fumble around with his words trying to defend GSP’s horrible performance. Nothing like leaving your biggest crowd of all time booing in unison at the finish.

  4. Mr.roadblock says:

    GSP is the new Tito. Lots of build up to his fights then very little action. I really can’t stand watching his performances anymore.

    Dana needs to stop talking bad about boxing and the fact that Paq/Mayweather isn’t being made. With Randy retiring it’s the second mega money, how could they not book it fight UFC has missed. The first is Forrest/Chuck and now Randy/Rampage.

  5. PL Allie says:

    Throwing the overhand right was stupid. Shield could see it coming every time. I predicted a GSP win by superman punch in the first round. Can’t believe he didn’t try it.

    But still Shields was 0-6 in his takedown. And it’s not like Shields is known to be an entertainer either…

    GSP-Diaz will be much more entertaining.

  6. Nepal says:

    Putting Diaz against a strong wrestler makes sense in a true meritocracy. The UFC is a business. It makes no sense to put Nick vs. a wrestler. We all know what would happen. Any wrestler with good sub defense would beat Diaz. Fitch, Koscheck, Ellenberger, Hendrix, Pierce, the list goes on and on.

    The only value Nick brings is his name. Were he to lose to any of the above and he most certainly would, his name value would be sullied. He then could not be promoted and billed as “a true challenge for GSP”, which in reality he is not. Thus UFC would lose a potential of a good PPV buy rate. Dana understands how to protect a potential big buy rate.

    There is no other welter weight out there to build a buzz over. Nobody. Even if you think Diaz lacks the panache because fewer people know him due to his outside-the-UFC past years, he is still known better than any other interesting-for-GSP fighter.

    It will be interesting to see the buys for 129. If UFC could get a big buy rate for GSP vs. Shields, they should surely do much better with GSP vs. Diaz. Of course there was a lot of publicity due to the 56 thousand attendance, the stadium show, Aldo etc. which may have helped the buy rate.

    • abzr says:

      So what you are saying is that UFC should not break the illusion by sweeping under the rug what is obvious to anyone but the most casual,naive fan. Do you remember what happened to Lesnar-Mir 3 ? People are not dumb anymore.

      • david m says:

        There is nothing naive about thinking that Nick Diaz has a better chance at beating GSP than any of the other top fighters in the UFC at that weight. How can someone who is basically a worse version of GSP beat him? He is a better wrestler than everyone in the division and a better striker than most and a better athlete than all. Jake Ellenberger and all these other carbon copy attempts to be GSP are all going to fall well short of the original. You need someone with a different style to beat him. Diaz is the only dude who isn’t in the wrestlebox mode that has made the UFC so boring to watch at times. Between elbows on the ground, takedowns being the only thing scored, and no yellow cards for stalling, the UFC has become far too wrestler-centric. It makes for shitty television. Diaz is different.

        • edub says:

          So what is Carlos Condit? A guy that has beaten better competition than Diaz, and is already in the UFC.

          Let’s not get away from reality here; Diaz will get the shot if he wants it. He has the championship belt, and hasn’t been beaten in 3 or 4 years now (no matter how shitty the competition). He brings another way to the Octagon for the UFC to market a credible challenge to GSPs reign.

          However, let’s not pretend he’s earned it either. He’s on such a good streak because he’s faced sub par compeitition for so long, and he looks so exciting because he continually faces the same style of fighter. The only time he faced an opponent that didn’t have a brawling way of fighting was KJ Noons, and frankly although it was all stand up, it was boring. And on top of that Diaz barely beat him. Diaz hasn’t fought a wrestler since Takanor Gomi, and that was a 160lber with notoriously shitty submission defense.

          Diaz is probably going to get the shot, but he should have to go through someone else first, whether that’s Koscheck, Fitch, Alves, Sanchez, or Condit. I would vote for Condit because both guys have a similar way of scrapping, and whoever got the next shot at GSP would be somewhat deserving.

  7. edub says:

    So what is Carlos Condit? A guy that has beaten better competition than Diaz, and is already in the UFC.

    Let’s not get away from reality here; Diaz will get the shot if he wants it. He has the championship belt, and hasn’t been beaten in 3 or 4 years now (no matter how shitty the competition). He brings another way to the Octagon for the UFC to market a credible challenge to GSPs reign.

    However, let’s not pretend he’s earned it either. He’s on such a good streak because he’s faced sub par compeitition for so long, and he looks so exciting because he continually faces the same style of fighter. The only time he faced an opponent that didn’t have a brawling way of fighting was KJ Noons, and frankly although it was all stand up, it was boring. And on top of that Diaz barely beat him. Diaz hasn’t fought a wrestler since Takanor Gomi, and that was a 160lber with notoriously shitty submission defense.

    Diaz is probably going to get the shot, but he should have to go through someone else first, whether that’s Koscheck, Fitch, Alves, Sanchez, or Condit. I would vote for Condit because both guys have a similar way of scrapping, and whoever got the next shot at GSP would be somehat deserving.

    • edub says:

      C’mon man.

      • David m says:

        We will see what happens. Gsp wants nothing to do with Nick on the feet, and Diaz has a much better guard than anyone gsp has ever fought, I believe.

        Zach, please archive this thread so that when Gsp taps to strikes against Nick in 4 months, I can receive the credit I deserve :)

        • edub says:

          You will be the first person I say “you told me so” to, if it happens. I can promise you that.

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