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Dana White on Chael Sonnen trashing Lance Armstrong: “Seriously, what am I going to do?”

By Zach Arnold | August 5, 2010

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You can read the transcript in full-page mode. I didn’t transcribe his comments about Roy Nelson, Matt Hughes, and the lawsuit against Ken Pavia. I’ll let you watch Dana’s face when he starts talking about Pavia as a bad guy. Whenever he talks about a legal enemy, he gets that ‘serious tone’ going — I’ve seen it before when he talks about people who have sued him or people he’s sued. Ariel gets a great question in about whether or not the fighters Pavia represents are in bad standing with the UFC.

As for the major portion that I transcribed, Dana’s asked repeatedly about whether or not he will control Chael Sonnen’s comments and why he won’t do it. You can see Dana try to hedge his bets here by touting that the whole card is great and every time he mentions how it’s The Chael Sonnen show, you get a feeling that he’s praying that the main event doesn’t suck and that people remember that the card actually does have some great fights on it.

ARIEL HELWANI: “Dana, good to see you again. Long time, no speak.”

DANA WHITE: “Good to see you.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “You seem very happy.”

DANA WHITE: “Yeah. I’m in a good mood. I’m excited for this card.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Yeah, well, you know, I ask why you seem very happy because it seems almost like this particular card you don’t have to do a lot of promoting. You can just let Chael Sonnen do his thing. It’s The Chael Sonnen show, right?”

DANA WHITE: “No. It’s definitely become The Chael Sonnen Show. You know… which is crazy with such a stacked card, with so much talent, you know. The Heavyweight fight, I’m legitimately excited for this Heavyweight fight and obviously the winner moves on to fight either Cain or Brock and then you got the fight that everybody’s been waiting for for so long between Fitch and Alves. And Matt Hughes taking on you know Ricardo Almeida but what everybody keeps talking about, what everybody’s interested in is Chael Sonnen.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Do you feel as though at my point Sonnen has crossed the line with the things he’s said about Anderson?”

DANA WHITE: “I think Chael Sonnen crossed the line two fights ago. I mean, Chael Sonnen has always talked like this. Before a fight he says some crazy [expletive] and… I think right now people are just noticing it because he’s the main event.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “OK, but, I mean… Just recently, though, maybe that’s what I was getting at, the thing about Lance Armstrong. You familiar with this?”

DANA WHITE: “Yeah. Yeah.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “What do you make of that? Because it is him saying this stuff and now he’s saying he didn’t say it.”

DANA WHITE: “It’s pretty crazy. Pretty crazy.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “So you just, at that point, just let him be?”

DANA WHITE: “What… seriously, what am I going to do? Hey, Chael, don’t talk about… the guy says stuff that I would never even think of and what do you say to that? I mean, how do you handle that? What do you do?”

ARIEL HELWANI: “When he came into the UFC, he wasn’t this outspoken. Has it, I mean, what can you attribute this to? The fact that he’s kind of just taken this and ran with this ‘persona’?”

DANA WHITE: “I don’t know about that. I think he has been and people just haven’t noticed, you know. It’s been three fights for me that I’ve noticed him saying crazy stuff, but it never caught… the public or the media’s attention. I saw it… I saw it in the Marquardt fight and I saw it in the fight before that.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Who came up with that campaign The Most Interesting Man in the World?”

DANA WHITE: “Actually, there was an editor, it was actually it started off as a joke, they thought it was funny in the office and I’m like, we’re using that man, it was awesome. I loved it.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Does he appreciate it, though?”

DANA WHITE: “I don’t know, he said I can’t tell if I’m the star in that or the butt of the joke. (laughter) And I don’t think it’s either. It’s… I mean… let’s be honest, here, I mean it’s pretty interesting the stuff that this guy does, says, you know… I thought it was perfect for him.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “OK, on the flipside, you got Anderson Silva and of course we know what happened at UFC 112. What is your relationship like with him now?”

DANA WHITE: “Well, before we get into that, the thing about Chael Soonen is, too, uh… All the crazy stuff that he’s saying and all the stuff that’s kind of overshadowing the fight itself, I think that you know if you look at his last couple of fights, when he’s going into that Nate Marquardt fight I was like, there was no way this kid wins this fight, I don’t see how Chael beats him anywhere, and Chael put it to Nate. The crazier thing about what this guy says is I think he 100% believes it. He believes everything that he says and I think that he’s going to in there and go after Anderson on Saturday and as far as my relationship…”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Sorry to interrupt you, but you said in the press conference that people do not want to watch Chael Sonnen talk. But you have to admit, though, that his talk has led to more interest in this fight, right?”

DANA WHITE: “Yeah, I think his talk has… brought more interest to him, you know. People are, you know, who is this guy? Some people think he’s awesome and love it and some people think he’s annoying and want to see Anderson smash him, you know. That’s obviously great for a fight, but at the end of the day it’s about the fight. You can talk all you want, it’s about the fight and in the actual fight, I believe that Chael Sonnen is going to bring it and I think that his style brings an interesting threat to Anderson. You know, he’s a guy who’s going to go for the takedown, he said today you know ‘oh that’s not really our game plan’ but at the end of day you know that Chael Sonnen does not want to go there and get into a striking match with Anderson Silva. He’s probably going to go out there, use his wrestling abilities, and he’s the kind of guy that can take you down, put you up against the fence, and do some serious damage. And that’s the style I think somebody needs to pose a threat to Anderson Silva.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “OK, and back to Anderson. What’s your relationship like with him now?”

DANA WHITE: “My relationship with Anderson is fine. I have a good relationship with him. I respect him as a fighter. I’m still the one out there saying he’s the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world. I think that, you know, he’s the most talented on Earth with two arms and two legs. I see pure genius in his fighting abilities, man, the stuff that he does and the thing that he’s able to pull off… you know… I was just very unhappy with the way he acted in his last fight.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “More to that point, obviously you look at the stare down here, he seems very motivated. That was one of the more intense stare downs that I’ve ever seen. Does a part of you at all feel a little nervous about maybe seeing what we did at 112? I mean, you never know what to expect. Are you at all just a little nervous about Saturday night?”

DANA WHITE: “No. First of all, I don’t ever expect to see on Saturday, any time what happened in Abu Dhabi, and the other thing is no matter what happens in the main event on Saturday, we’ve built a great card. Fans are going to get their money’s worth on this one, you know. That’s the other thing that kind of bummed me out about Abu Dhabi, too. All the guys who did perform on that card, it was all overshadowed by the guy that didn’t perform.”

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 9 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

9 Responses to “Dana White on Chael Sonnen trashing Lance Armstrong: “Seriously, what am I going to do?””

  1. Ivan Trembow says:

    “Seriously, what am I going to do?”

    Probably the same thing that he did when Jeremy Stephens directed both a homophobic slur and the n-word at Floyd Mayweather a couple of months ago: Nothing.

    • majick says:

      You’re sure Stephens is a racist and a homophobe and not just ignorant? He’s grown up in an era where that quasi n-word is used in every other hip hop track that comes out. Similarly, there are a lot of people that don’t realize the homophobic slur he used is in fact homophobic.

      However, you’re dead on with the Sonnen comparison. Clearly, suggesting Armstrong cheated and lying about it is right up there with homophobia and racism. Dana needs to do something.

      • Dino Philyaw says:

        Are you serious Mijack, thats your best excuse for Jeremy Stephens racism? So because even if an idiot says it in songs, its okay to say it in this era? Ummmmmm no, poor logic on your part.

        • majick says:

          Did I say it was okay?

          It wasn’t “an idiot” that said it in a song. The version of the word he used is ubiquitous in hip hop/rap culture. You don’t see any possibility that he didn’t realize that version of the word is unacceptable?

          You think he knew it was racist and thought the UFC would be okay with overt racism?

          Isn’t it more likely he’s just an ignorant dumbass?

      • Dino Philyaw says:

        Rappers who use N-word in songs = idiots. Thats the point I was making here.

        Dont worry, Stephens is an idiot too. If he was to say that in any other league, he would be blacklisted.

        If he didnt see that the word was unacceptable, then he is socially retarded or living under a rock for 2 decades of his miserable existence.

  2. Fluyid says:

    I agree that Sonnen has always talked crazy. This stuff he’s saying for this fight is right in line with his previous statements over the years.

  3. GassedOut says:

    One cannot be held responsible for words of another human being. Attempts at regulation or coersion will fail given enough time. Reverse example – Operation Valkerie.

  4. Ivan Trembow says:

    In response to majick regarding the n-word: That’s no excuse in 2010.

    In response to majick regarding homophobic slurs: That’s no excuse in 2010.

  5. Rob Maysey says:

    “Ariel gets a great question in about whether or not the fighters Pavia represents are in bad standing with the UFC.”

    This question and response appear to have been edited out of the video, and if so, I wonder why.


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