Drama is the bread and butter of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. But what would you expect when you're in the fight game?
For UFC president Dana White, it just seems to follow him around, in and outside the Octagon. Just days before Friday's "UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot" in Minneapolis, the company's boss was a few minutes late for our scheduled phone interview. What kept him?
"Always drama," he said with a laugh. "Every day I get up, there's drama. This place is like the biggest soap opera on Earth."
Still, the prez was happy to talk about a certain ex-heavyweight champion known for providing his fare share of headaches. Other topics of interest: White grades the UFC's Fox television deal, plus talks about his superfight wish list and the rise of women's MMA. Oh, and UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta being a huge fan of the Food Network's "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives."
Q Would you sign Brock Lesnar to another UFC fight?
A Sure, I'd bring him back. He was the one who wanted to retire, and then he hooked back up with the WWE and did some stuff over there. But if Brock called me tomorrow and said, "Hey I'd like to come back," I'd work with him.
Q How would you grade this first year with the Fox deal?
A We're really starting to catch our stride. When we did the deal I said it's going to be a lot of work, and the work we do in the next two years is going to be the most important in the company's history. We came out of the gates and tried some new things. We're trying to figure out how to work together. People don't realize this: We do our own live production. The way that we run our live show is completely different than anything Fox has done before. They usually run everything. So we've really figured out how to work together over the last seven months. It's been great. I couldn't say better things about the relationship.
Q How important has Strikeforce champion Rhonda Rousey been for women's MMA?
A I think she's been the most important fighter so far, for the simple fact that I wasn't really into women's MMA until I met her. She's going to take women's MMA to the next level. I've been in this game my whole life. There's people you meet who are the real deal -- people who are real fighters. She's a real fighter. Seriously, she's pretty and all this other stuff. But inside, she's mean, she's nasty and she likes to compete. And she's absolutely professional.
Q How soon until we see her on a UFC card?
A Probably sooner than you think.
Q What is the superfight that you personally as a fan would like to see?
A I'm excited for the return of Georges St. Pierre and to see how he does against Carlos Condit [on Nov. 17]. I know a lot of fans want to see [middleweight champion] Anderson Silva vs GSP. So if GSP beats Carlos, that fight could happen. People want to see Anderson against [light heavyweight champion] Jon Jones. I wouldn't mind seeing that fight. We try to put on the absolute best fights possible, but when you talk about dream fights, those are a couple of cool dream fights. Maybe Jon Jones vs [heavyweight champion] Junior Dos Santos?
Q Lorenzo was quoted in USA Today saying the decision to bring this fight to Minneapolis came down to the large amount of Twin Cities restaurants that have been on "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives." Were you in on this planning meeting?
A I was in that meeting! And Lorenzo busts out with that statement. When Minneapolis is brought up, I'm never arguing about going to Minneapolis.
- Tom Horgen
- Follow him on Twitter: @tomhorgen