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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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How injured are Cain Velasquez & Junior dos Santos headed into their UFC fight?

By Zach Arnold | November 10, 2011

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Click on my face to hear how excited I am for Saturday’s show on Fox network

DANA WHITE: “We made this choice for this fight. We put this fight on Fox. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in the arena early, you know, before we open doors… but I’ve been doing this show for 10 years, we rehearse and rehearse and rehearse and rehearse because I’m, I’m, you know, crazy about making sure that everything is perfect and we nail it. Um… this show, we’re going to rehearse for two days but it’s, it’s… so different because we got the Fox Sports side and our side and we need to blend them and make this thing come off and nail it perfectly on television, so… that’s the uh… you know, that’s what goes through my head.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “When you announced this deal, you said you would have control, production control, that’s very important to you. So, now, it seems like you have to sort of play with the other side and they have a say as well. How’s that going?”

DANA WHITE: “It’s not that we have to play with the other side, you know, we’re definitely, I mean, we’re on their network, we’re partners in this deal and… it’s a Fox Sports presentation, you know, it’s being presented by Fox Sports, so it’s going to have the Fox Sports feel to it but when it comes to the fight and the elements that matter to me in the way the fights at broadcast and the way the fights are shot… that’s what we do.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Can you give us a hint as to how it may look different than the typical UFC event?”

DANA WHITE: “Um… it’s going to have a different, the show opener’s going to be completely different. The broadcasting is going to be completely different until the fight starts. When the fight’s… and talks about who’s coming out, it’s all UFC, man, 100%.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “There’s a pre-show on Fuel but there’s also a pre-show sort of on Fox, as well, with Curt Menafee of the NFL on Fox hosting and you’re going to be an analyst with Brock Lesnar, is that correct?”

DANA WHITE: “True, yeah.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “What’s that like for you to be in that role? Because now we’re like 20 minutes before the fight and I”m sure that, if you’re anxious now, I can’t imagine how you’re going to be feeling then.”

DANA WHITE: “Yeah, no, I’ll be fine, I’ll be fine then. It’s just these next couple of days that I got to get through. We got a lot of stuff that we’re still putting together… things that need to be finalized and, you know, the finishing touches need to be done and they’ll be done by Friday. Saturday, we’ll go in and we’re walk through what we’re going to do and as far as me being an analyst… I wouldn’t necessarily call myself an analyst on this show. I’m sure that’s what Fox is calling me. You know how me and Rogan get on there before the PPVs and we talk about the fights? That’s what I’m going to do. We’re going to get on there, we’re going to talk about the fight, Lesnar’s going to talk about the fight, Alistair Overeem’s going to be there. … But at the weigh-ins on Friday, normally there’s a Q & A… it will be a press conference with Alistair Overeem and Brock Lesnar at the weigh-ins this Friday, um… in Santa Monica.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “And the winner of that fight will obviously will fight the winner of Saturday night’s fight, right?”

DANA WHITE: “Right.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Now, what are the next hours looking like for you? Can you give us some insight into your world? not, obviously, releasing too much but what are you doing in the next couple of days?”

DANA WHITE: “Other than all the press that I’m doing over the next two days, it’s all production, going through all the production. We’re still working on, like I said, finishing touches on things that need to do be. You know, we pump out viral pieces the week of the event, we put together… there’s still things that I’m working on as far as advertising and promotion of the event but a lot of it, the majority of it, is production.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Any new sponsors for this show?”

DANA WHITE: “Tons. Yeah, I mean…”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Blue chip ones that we haven’t seen?”

DANA WHITE: “Fox has sold this thing out like that, it has been very successful for Fox’s first fight, so… yes.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “None that you could say beforehand?”

DANA WHITE: “I wouldn’t even know off the top of my head, that’s their world.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “People have been joking about keeping the guys healthy and how crazy it would have been… I wanted to ask you a question. I heard some rumors… we haven’t really, you know, run with it because nothing happened, obviously, but there was a report that I had received that Cain did get injured at some point. Did you hear that?”

DANA WHITE: “Yeah, but nothing that, uh… neither guy has been injured in a way that would, in any way shape or form, effect the fight.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “So, you didn’t get a minor heart attack a few weeks ago hearing…”

DANA WHITE: “Not even close, no. I haven’t… you know, have I thought, God, I hope nothing happens to either one of these guys? Absolutely, but… yeah, no, nothing to… nothing to worry us.”

(later on…)

DANA WHITE: “Everything that I’ve done with this company over the last 10 years has come from… the feelings that I had being a fight fan when I was younger. There’s nothing more fun. For example, like the thing that you guys saw on the Internet with me going to the Rage Against the Machine concert… I’m such a huge RATM fan and… you get to a point in your life, especially, I’m 42 years old, you know what I mean? I’ve done a lot of things. It’s so fun to be a fan of something, you know, and when you get excited for it and you look forward to it and I remember what that felt like when I was a fight fan and that’s what I try to, um, create here at the UFC and deliver for our fans.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Is that the future or is PPV still always going to be a part of your business model?”

DANA WHITE: “Yeah, no, PPV is definitely our business model. But I think that when you ask fans to buy 12 to 14 fights a year… you got to give them back a lot of free fights and that’s what we do. I mean… we do 12 to 14 PPVs a year but next year we’re going to do 34 fights. So, the rest are all free, you know? I think that’s another fun thing about being a UFC fan and about being a fight fan. Listen, back in the days when boxing was just PPV… me and my friends, we figured out how to pay for these things. We all get together and everybody would chip in, everybody kicked in their $5 for the PPV, but man, we didn’t miss a fight and we always figured out how to watch it and that’s one of the things that we do here at the UFC, too, you know… now that, uh… technology is so much better than it was when I was younger, you know, you got satellite, you got cable, you can go to a bar and watch it, you can watch it on your computer, you can watch it on your iPad, I mean there’s just so many different ways to receive the product now. It’s just, there’s never been a better time to be a fight fan. We just… it just keeps getting better and better.”

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