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Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

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Dana White: Rampage’s my boy

By Zach Arnold | November 22, 2010

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Suffice to say, he wasn’t upset by Rampage Jackson’s win at UFC 123 on Saturday night.

ARIEL HELWANI: “You said on Wednesday that you never really know what kind of Rampage you’ll see out there and considering the fact that he went on this three month promotional tour for the movie and changed his training camp and all that. Were you surprised by his performance, that he looked that good?”

DANA WHITE: “I thought he looked a million times better than he has in his past fight. You know, the question I had, for me I thought he looked slow in his last couple of fights. He did not look slow [at UFC 123]. We know who he was in there against, a guy who is very fast, agile, and the thing about Machida, too, is, uh… Machida shows these signs of brilliance where he just, like he threw that flying knee that hit Rampage hard right in the stomach and… you know Rampage is a human being, no matter how tough he is, you know he’s hurt and instead of starting to kick the body again and go after him because you know you hurt him, he starts running around and moving away. You don’t win fights like that. I know that some people are saying Machida won the fight — you need to watch it again. He lands like maybe 5 or 6 punches in the third round. You know, that doesn’t win you a fight.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Do you like watching Machida fight?”

DANA WHITE: “Um, yeah, no. I appreciate Machida’s style and the things that this guy, that’s what, you know, you’ll get these people that start booing… Listen, guys, there’s so much on the line. Guys are going to fight smart fights and there’s a difference between a smart fight and a boring fight. Going into a fight, you know what two styles are. Did people think that Rampage, that Machida was going to walk out to the center of the Octagon, plant his feet, and just trading with Rampage Jackson? No, none of you thought that. What he’s going to do is he’s going to use, and I said it leading up to this fight, did you ever hear me in any interview say, ‘this is going to be a bangfest, these guys are going to go toe-to-toe.’ No, I said, I think what we’re going to see from Machida is that elusive style that got him here. He’s going to stay outside, try to pick Rampage apart with kicks and punches and frustrate him and beat him and, uh, and I think Rampage is going to have to, if he’s in shape and if his timing is on, he’s going to move forward, he’s going to move forward, try to blast him, try to use his wrestling, and he actually did a lot more things than I said he would do. I thought he fought the fight perfectly and I thought Machida fought the fight that I thought he would fight.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “You’ve been announcing a lot of fights here which is sort of unusual because you need some time to think about. So, I’ll ask you — what do you think is next for Rampage?”

DANA WHITE: “Um… you know, I don’t know. It’s funny, I had all these answers for all these other fights, but I don’t know about Rampage. We’ll see what’s next?”

ARIEL HELWANI: “What do you make of his entrance song? Sort of a tip of the cap to the old PRIDE days.”

DANA WHITE: “Yeah, you know, I think he said I want to come back and fight like the old Rampage from PRIDE, so that’s what he wanted to walk into for this fight.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Speaking of turning back the clock, BJ Penn looked fantastic and I had a chance to see him and he sort of looked at me and said, ‘I really needed that one, Ariel’ in sort of a very sincere way. What does this mean to BJ in terms of, you know, just continuing his career and he sort of said that you’ll call where he’ll fight next, so I ask you, where do you think he’ll fight next, which division?”

DANA WHITE: “Well, yeah, he did look good. I think he looked like the old BJ and I actually like BJ at 170 pounds. He came in talking to himself, all crazy and swearing at himself and fired up, he looked like the BJ from the old days, so, you know, uh… I think I like him at 170 pounds and we’ll do him and (Jon) Fitch in Sydney.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “As the main event?”

DANA WHITE: “Yeah.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Fitch was supposed to fight Jake Ellenberger. Why is he not fighting him?”

DANA WHITE: “Because he’s going to fight BJ instead.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Just switched it up?

DANA WHITE: “I announced it at the press conference.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Based on his performance?”

DANA WHITE: “Uh, yeah.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “I’m guessing maybe the winner of that fight potentially could be a number one contender considering how high Fitch was up in the rankings?”

DANA WHITE: “Yeah, they’re definitely in the mix. Yep.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “And Dennis Siver-George Sotiropoulos. How long was that on your mind?”

DANA WHITE: “Um… yeah, we said if he won the fight that that would be an interesting fight.”

Who you got winning in the Penn/Fitch fight?

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 19 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

19 Responses to “Dana White: Rampage’s my boy”

  1. mr. roadblock says:

    I have absolutely no interest in Fitch vs BJ. I hope BJ wins and Fitch goes away, but I bet Fitch just lays on him for three rounds.

    What disappoints me is that three fights I’ve really wanted to see for awhile are BJ vs Alves/Nate Diaz and Koschek. Any of those would be much better and more interesting.

    Also what happens if BJ wins? Does he get a third crack at GSP, who he is 0-2 against? That would mean he lost the 155lb title, fought two fights at 170 and got a title shot. That doesn’t make much sense.

    • Nicholai says:

      What makes you think will lay on him? BJ has a great ground game, It won’t 5 rounds so BJ’s cardio won’t look awful and BJ Penn has a really good punch. What makes Nate Diaz so special compared to BJ Penn. I don’t think Nate will even get by his fight in UFC 125.

      • mr. roadblock says:

        GSP laid on him in the second fight.

        BJ’s slick ground work can be nullified by size and strength. Fitch is much bigger and stronger.

        I would prefer to see BJ in with fast, explosive guys that have good transition games like the guys I mentioned above because I think they’d be action packed fights.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      Fitch/Penn is a WEIRD WEIRD WEIRD main event. I’m still not sure if I love it (15% chance) or hate it (85% chance). I guess this is a great way to get Fitch either a win that people care about so they care about GSP/Fitch 2…. Or a way for Penn to beat him and take him out of contention.

      So I think the fight itself is weird and doesn’t make me want to buy that PPV at all…. But the end result of it gives absolute purpose to Fitch’s career one way or the other.

  2. edub says:

    Random thought of the day:

    I wanna see BJ Penn box against Dmitry Pirog at a 163lb catch weight, after he trains with Freddy Roach for 6 months.

  3. David M says:

    Fitch ain’t GSP.

    GSP’s takedowns are super fast and explosive; Fitch’s are slow, methodical, plodding attempts that eventually pull the opponent down.

    Fitch also lacks GSP’s handspeed, mobility, and punching power. On the feet BJ should have a huge advantage over Jon, and while obviously Fitch poses no danger once they are on the mat, I am not even sure if he will be able to get him down at all or keep him down. In Fitch’s “wins” against Diego and Paulo Thiago, he literally just laid in guard and did nothing for the entire fight. If God exists, and if Fitch takes BJ down, they will be stood up within 3 seconds.

    • robthom says:

      “Fitch also lacks GSP’s handspeed, mobility, and punching power.”

      Thats a fascinating observation.
      But thats never been the key to a Fitch victory.

      In fact if Fitch does what he always does and things dont go bj’s way in the first minute then he is infamously prone to losing interest in being there anymore.

      Fitch by smother, or bj by implosion.
      Pick your fave.

      • David M says:

        Mobility/speed may not be the key to Fitch’s wins, but they are the key to beating BJ. Guys who don’t have super fast shots can’t take him down because his balance, flexibility, and reflexes are too good.

  4. Kalle says:

    No comment on how Falcao got robbed of a possible 1st round submission victory when the horn sounded six seconds early?

    • IceMuncher says:

      The time you see on the screen is unofficial. That’s why the UFC removes it at the very end of the round, so people don’t complain when there’s a discrepancy of a few seconds here and there. Much ado about nothing, like most issues that get raised in online chatter.

      • Kalle says:

        The round length is five minutes and that is how long the fighters have to fight. No more, no less, and five minutes is five minutes no matter how you measure it. While we don’t necessarily need accuracy down to a fraction of a second in a fight six seconds is more than enough time to change the course of a fight.

        If the ringside officials ended a round early then that is a problem that needs to be recognised as a mistake and addressed.

        • mr. roadblock says:

          The point you’re missing is that the clock on your TV is put there by the UFC production crew. They guess at when the time keeper starts the round.

          The ref instructs the timekeeper to begin the round and the 5 minutes starts. Those guys work for the Athletic Commission and not UFC. The clock you see on TV is just the TV guys providing a guide for the audience, just like in soccer. It isn’t the actual game clock like in the NFL or NBA.

        • Kalle says:

          Look, the fight has been timed. From the moment the ref said “Fight!” to the horn sounded it took 4:53. Even allowing for an error margin of +/- 1 second that’s still not acceptable. Sloppy timekeeping is not good for the sport or the fighters and if it’s not adressed it could lead to allegations of fight fixing. If not now then in the future.

          If it was an honest mistake then the best policy is to be open about it, find out what wrong, and try to do better in the future. It’s when mistakes are not talked about that people start to wonder if there is something to hide.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      I think it’s so much less of an issue because the right guy still won.

      Plus, it happened in a non fight town.

      It should still be looked into, but there isn’t much to do or talk about because of the way it went down.

  5. Zack says:

    I like Fitch vs BJ personally but its kind of a lame main event.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      It’s the first time since August 2010 that the UFC will be putting on 2 PPV’s in the same month. Everytime they do that, one of the PPV’s suffers. They just don’t have enough talent to pull it off.

      I’m hoping Silva/Belfort is available in theaters so I can still see both PPV’s that month. I refuse to pay for 2 PPV’s during the same month. On principle alone….

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