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Dana White interview: I have plenty of PPV headliners

By Zach Arnold | September 30, 2009

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Here’s a clip of an interview the UFC President did with Sherdog. Full transcript is available here, but here’s a quote from the interview:

“It’s a business, it’s just a business. You’re going to have the one thing that we’re lucky is that as many shows as we do that we have so many people that can headline fights. And, no, it’s just, it’s part of running a business.”

“Absolutely, you know how many fucking fights that we put on a year? But that’s the business, it’s been like that since day one, it was like that when I was putting on five fights a year, you know? It’s always going to be a problem, You’re going to have guys that are injured, you know, it’s always an issue.”

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 21 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

21 Responses to “Dana White interview: I have plenty of PPV headliners”

  1. jr says:

    It would be nice if Dana would stop trying to overshadow the fighters

  2. Fluyid says:

    They’ve certainly sold Monson, Lutter and several faded stars from yesteryear as main eventers. I’m not about to doubt him when he says he has plenty of PPV headliners on the roster.

  3. Mark says:

    Do they have headliners? Absolutely. There are countless non-title fights to make that would do respectable numbers. Do they have credible title contenders in every weight class? That’s questionable.

    I’ll give the heavyweight division a pass because its contenders are so new to the UFC it’s not fair to point out they aren’t built up properly. Plus Brock is such a draw he could main event against practically anybody and do at least 700,000 buys.

    Lightweight has some great match ups Penn hasn’t faced yet so there’s nothing wrong there.

    In Middleweight and Welterweight you’ve got the problem of two dominant champions who have beaten the majority of the top fighters in their divisions, but those fighters are still around winning fights and the problem is nobody really cares about any of them getting a rematch. And within a year Machida is going to have the same problem.

    At LHW you’ve got a champion who looks like he can go strong for years. And due to Griffin being on the shelf and Jackson gone for the time being, you’re down to
    Evans (who nobody believes can win a rematch)
    Ortiz (who nobody believes can win a rematch)
    Coleman (who won’t get to the level of top 5 contender)
    Couture (who would get an undeserved title shot if nobody is left but would get destroyed)
    Vera (who would find some way to screw up getting a title shot)
    Nogueira (who won’t fight Machida)
    Cane (not ready yet)
    Jones (not ready yet)
    Jardine (can’t stay consistent to get ranked)
    Liddell (I guarantee he’ll be back at least once but won’t fight top competition)

    And with the exception of Gegard Mousasi there’s nobody they could bring in. And with the wave of giant heavyweights, nobody to move down to 205 either. Cro Cop could have, but he’s gone. Maybe they can move Henderson back to 205 after he loses to Silva again?

  4. Fluyid says:

    I’m still holding out hope for a show headlined by Joe Rogan vs. Wesley Snipes, with Kimbo vs. Wes Sims in the co-main event.

    Maybe even have Kermit Cintron vs. Sean Sherk on the show as well, along with a Legends Match of Ken Shamrock vs. Don Frye and Liddell vs. Jardine 2 for the newly-created UFC Intercontinental Light Heavyweight title.

    That would do a ton of PPV buys.

  5. Mark says:

    They could also run “Stone Cold” Tito Ortiz vs. Mr. McWhite in that sparring match we’ve been waiting 3 years for. UFC 110: Epic Exhibition.

  6. matthew says:

    I think that Silva-Belfort is a headliner. I also think that it will not be as close as some may think. If you watch his fight vs Franklin, and read the article on Sherdog, you can see that he has been using his karate in training and in the fight. He fought with stance very similar to Machida’s. If this is his new style, I believe that Anderson’s training with Machida, the king of karate in MMA plus his overall superiority will equal a win.

  7. 45 Huddle says:

    Silva vs. Belfort is definitely a good headliner. Probably get a respectable PPV Buy rate, but not off the charts.

    They could also bring in Shields for GSP. They could do the following to mix up the Welterweight Division.

    1) GSP vs. Hardy/Swick
    2) Winner of Alves/Thiago vs. Fitch/Almeida. I assume it will be Alves/Fitch. Winner gets a title shot. If Almeida somehow upsets Fitch, he gets the next shot.
    3) Bring in Shields. His contract should be up by then.

    By that point, they hopefully will have built up another 2 or so contenders. Not to mention if GSP loses, it will instantly make the division fresh again.

    Middleweight is much less promising. I can’t see anybody beating Silva. That division is absolutely stale right now. And who can they bring in to fix the problem? There isn’t anybody interesting. There is a good number of solid fighters outside of the UFC at MW, but nobody who is elite.

    And don’t forget the wild cards….. Faber, Torres, Brown, Aldo, & Bowles. if they bring these guys over and promote them properly, that is an instant 5 title fights per year, and probably a few good co-main events with the non-champions.

    It seems like every few months people harp on the UFC for not having enough guys who can main event. And that typically happens around the time of a non-title PPV main event. And yet, the UFC constantly pulls out a bunch really good main events like Lesnar/Carwin, Penn/Sanchez, & Silva/Belfort. Really, it isn’t a problem….

  8. Mark says:

    A year gap between GSP-Fitch fights is fine. But you’re going to be hard pressed to sell a rematch that was clearly dominated by GSP in 6 months. Nobody is going to demand that rematch that fast. The DVD isn’t even out yet.

    It seems like every few months people harp on the UFC for not having enough guys who can main event. And that typically happens around the time of a non-title PPV main event. And yet, the UFC constantly pulls out a bunch really good main events like Lesnar/Carwin, Penn/Sanchez, & Silva/Belfort. Really, it isn’t a problem…

    There has never been the complaining to the point that Dana comments on it. Of course there’s the usual “everything UFC sucks” contingent who say this every day. But this is a widespread worry lately with people who have never said it.

    Plus UFC has never had the reality of 4 longterm champions (maybe all 5 depending on how Brock progresses) for this amount of time who are so dominant. Silva has been champion for 3 years, GSP for 2 years counting his interim reign, and both Penn and Machida are far fresher but have nobody anybody believes can defeat them in their divisions.

  9. 45 Huddle says:

    I say GSP gets the winner of Fitch/Alves, because I completely expect Fitch to win that rematch. I agree that if Alves wins, it might not be a rematch anybody wants to see right away.

    As for the UFC’s Champions…. No UFC Heavyweight has ever won more then 3 title fights in a row. If Lesnar beats Carwin, that is #3. And despite people making claims that Machida is unbeatable…. He still only just won the title. That belt has been going back and forth since Chuck lost it. There is a good chance that could happen again. Despite Machida being so good at striking and avoiding, nobody has ever tested his chin or his cardio. There are still unanswered questions on him. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him get tagged hard against Shogun….

  10. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    90% of the test is getting to the chin. If you can’t hit it, it doesn’t matter.

  11. Zack says:

    I’d kind of like to see a GSP/Koscheck rematch. It’s been two years from that fight, and Kos has showed improved standup and KO power since then.

  12. Alan Conceicao says:

    LOLOLOL WHAT WAS THAT. Kimbo still sucks. Biggest sucker for the crucifix EVER.

  13. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    By the way, I consider it officially confirmed that Kimbo and Roy Nelson will fight one another on the TUF Finale this season.

    Kimbo gets double-elimination, everyone else only gets one shot.

  14. Alan Conceicao says:

    I am laughing my ass off. COME BACK NEXT WEEK: KIMBO IS COMING BACK WE PROMISE LOLOLOL. The guy is as crappy as ever, and Dana White is talking about how Roy Nelson only did just enough to win; Yes, to win every minute of every round the fight went through up until he stopped a prone and defenseless Kimbo Slice.

    The show now enters parody. Not much Sims yet; Perhaps next week they send in the clowns!

  15. Ivan Trembow says:

    As I posted in the other thread:

    What a joke. So THAT is the fight that made Lorenzo Fertitta tell the L.A. Times Blog last week, “We’ve been very impressed with Kimbo’s performance”?

    And that’s the fight that made Dana White tell the L.A. Times Blog last week, “Are you going to see Kimbo Slice fight again in the UFC? Yes” as well as “The ratings do not influence our decision. The guy can either fight or not.”

    THAT is the fight that led to Fertitta and White making those comments?

    I was surprised to see the fight go that way, given Fertitta and White’s public statements. What’s not surprising at all is White’s child-like behavior when his favored fighter lost. “Roy Nelson did just enough to win!” Really? Because it sure seemed like he shut down and TKO’ed the fighter around whom White built a whole season of The Ultimate Fighter.

    Of course, whether or not he got TKO’ed in his fight first isn’t what really matters, right? It’s the ratings. UFC and Spike TV have gone from publicly mocking Kimbo’s ratings-drawing power in press releases and public statements when he was fighting for EliteXC, to fully using that ratings-drawing power for themselves, even though he’s still not actually much of a fighter.

    So, what’s the over/under on how much money it would be worth for the UFC if one of the other contestants on the show just happened to come down with an injury that caused them to have to withdraw from the competition, which just might lead to someone coming back (like, I don’t know, maybe Kimbo Slice). Let the “farce” continue.

  16. Fluyid says:

    SHITTY fight.

  17. Mark says:

    And despite people making claims that Machida is unbeatable…. He still only just won the title. That belt has been going back and forth since Chuck lost it. There is a good chance that could happen again. Despite Machida being so good at striking and avoiding, nobody has ever tested his chin or his cardio. There are still unanswered questions on him. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him get tagged hard against Shogun…

    Okay, Machida’s cardio is in question but SHOGUN’S isn’t? Yeesh, have you not seen Shogun’s other UFC performances? His picture is under the MMA dictionary definition for “gassed”. Shogun will be too exhausted to catch Machida by round 3, if Machida doesn’t knock him out by then. I don’t want to accuse him of doping since we don’t know, but clearly something was different about his PRIDE days where he could bang for 10 minutes straight and now. Either Chute Boxe had far superior conditioning coaches or maybe Panama Lewis handled his water bottles.

  18. 45 Huddle says:

    I never claimed Shogun’s cardio is good. I don’t think he is the one to test Machida’s gas tank. Other fighters might be able to.

  19. Mark says:

    You mean Tito and his “I TRAIN AT BIG BEAR I NEVER GAS!” or Randy Couture’s secret diet? Come on, Machida is in fantastic shape, there’s nothing pointing to Black House fighters not having good cardio training. His chin hasn’t been tested, true. But much like his ground game (specifically how he’d survive being on the bottom) you’ve got to catch him first, which seems impossible as Jeremy pointed out. From what I’ve seen nobody is going to get a step ahead of him that’s currently in the LHW division.

  20. Todd says:

    UFC has more shows than they have talent at this point and they are talking about doing 2 PPV shows a month next year. It is great to put on the best fights you can all the time but these fights are not built up well and they don’t have a deep enough talent pool to keep going that route. Boxing does a lot better job of stringing along the fans and giving the fight the fans want when it will have maximum impact and financial success.

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