Friend of our site

MMA Headlines


Bleacher Report

MMA Fighting

MMA Torch

MMA Weekly

Sherdog (News)

Sherdog (Articles)

Liver Kick

MMA Junkie

MMA Mania

MMA Ratings

Rating Fights

Yahoo MMA Blog

MMA Betting

Search this site

Latest Articles

News Corner

MMA Rising

Audio Corner


Sherdog Radio

Video Corner

Fight Hub

Special thanks to...

Link Rolodex

Site Index

To access our list of posting topics and archives, click here.

Friend of our site

Buy and sell MMA photos at MMA Prints

Site feedback

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

« | Home | »

Dana White: There’s a reason BJ Penn isn’t as big of a star as he should be

By Zach Arnold | September 21, 2011

Print Friendly and PDF

Click on my mug to see me rant righteously about Joe Cortez & Larry Merchant to Ariel Helwani of

Whenever Dana decides to let his inner fanboy come out in interviews, he’s a fascinating person to watch in terms of studying psychology. After he admitted in this interview that he bet on Victor Ortiz to beat Floyd Mayweather, perhaps Lorenzo Fertitta needs to call a shrink.

With that out of the way, some interesting items were touched upon. Dana White said that he views the trajectory of Jon Jones’ career the same way he viewed the trajectory of UFC once they became the #1 MMA promotion in the world.

Dana tried to reassure everyone that Matt Hughes is 100% committed to MMA heading into Saturday night’s fight against Josh Koscheck. (Both Hughes & Rampage are +400 under dogs heading into their respective bouts.)

In an odd statement, Dana said that he’s ‘at a good place’ right now with Nick Diaz and thinks he can do business with him. You have to watch the video interview to get the tone in which he said the remark. Ariel brought up rumors of Nick Diaz not wanting to do taping for a Countdown TV show but Dana shot them down…

Which naturally brought up BJ Penn’s comments online in which he claimed that UFC producers were telling him what to say. Dana, of course, was none too happy to deal with those remarks.

“What our job is we have to get inside of these fighter’s lives and this is the kind of stuff like… you know, a guy like BJ (Penn), with all of the things that’s happened in the past and what a big star he could have been… You know, if you look at a guy like Floyd Mayweather, say what you want about Floyd Mayweather… Dude, he does 24/7. Those cameras live inside his house, it’s called 24 fucking 7. It means that they’re with him 24/7, they’re in his car, they’re in his house, those guys are in the gym when they go to train. They see everything, you know, and Floyd Mayweather gets on there and lets them get into his life and see his personality and where he is and what he does.

“And we got fucking guys going, ‘oh, they told me what to say and I didn’t want to say that I’ll beat Nick Diaz!’ It’s just one of the fucking things hopefully with this next generation that’s coming up through, these guys get that and get what it takes to get people interested in you and to sell a fight and when somebody asks you a question if you think you’re going to win on Saturday. If you don’t think you’re going to win, then fucking say no, I think I’m going to get my ass beat.”

At this point in the interview, Dana went into total ‘boxing fan’ mode and ranted for several minutes about referee Joe Cortez & Larry Merchant. Dana’s description of Victor Ortiz ‘billy goat headbutting’ Floyd is great entertainment. He admitted that he bet on Victor Ortiz because he had ‘a puncher’s chance.’ Wonder if he’ll use that with the media to hype why Carlos Condit can beat GSP.

Dana says that Joe Rogan is a professional when it comes to post-fight interviews, something that Larry Merchant in his eyes is not. This led to Dana lobbying and pleading for HBO to insert Max Kellerman into Merchant’s role.

“Hey, Larry, if you were 70 years younger, you’re not kicking Floyd’s ass, OK? You babbling, senile moron.”

The most intriguing insider baseball segment of the interview is when Ariel asked Dana whether or not it’s true that Spike can’t air Bellator on TV in 2012 unless UFC buys the rights (picks up the option) to their video library to stop it from airing on Spike in 2012. Dana says that UFC has no intentions on buying the library rights, so Spike is stuck with UFC programming in 2012 as their only contractual choice.

Ariel then pressed Dana on Spike airing Bellator fights on their web site.

He closed out the interview by defending his booking of Wanderlei Silva vs. Cung Le on November 19th at San Jose Arena on PPV. In response to determining whether or not fighters under contract to UFC can be pushed into retirement:

“Whether you like it or not, I am the guy who makes those decisions.”

As for the Light Heavyweight picture… winner of Bones Jones/Rampage faces Rashad Evans. Winner of that fight faces the winner of Shogun/Dan Henderson.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 7 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

7 Responses to “Dana White: There’s a reason BJ Penn isn’t as big of a star as he should be”

  1. Mr.roadblock says:

    Why wouldn’t Rashad Evans get the Jones/Rampage winner?

    Ed. — He mentioned him. I re-listened to the comment.

  2. abzer says:

    ” After he admitted in this interview that he bet on Victor Ortiz to beat Floyd Mayweather”.

    Why? You don’t need to think that fighter A is going to beat fighter B to bet on A. It is still a good bet if you think that the odds are not right.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      Looking at the odds at first to determine who you should bet on is the wrong approach.

      Never look at the odds…. Pick wins for the fights you are interested in…. And then looking at the odds is purely secondary….

  3. […] White Talks About B.J. Penn’s Starpower ( […]

  4. […] to do [to air Bellator prelims on].? White told Ariel Helwani last week (transcribed by Zach Arnold at “In my opinion, it’s Spike not being honorable. I’ve been nothing but honorable […]


To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
Anti-spam image