Dana White: Benson Henderson not automatically getting title shot

Benson HendersonDana White was not impressed by Benson Henderson’s split-decision win over Josh Thomson on Saturday night at “UFC on FOX 10.” In fact, he was so unimpressed by Henderson that he says Bendo’s performance wasn’t deserving of a title shot. Thomson, on the other hand, probably would have earned one had he been victorious.

When asked after the fight if Bendo’s performance was worthy of another title shot, White answered simply.

“No,” White said. “But, I mean, that was a Ben Henderson fight. … We’ve seen that fight a million times.

“It’s not about being more aggressive. He’s a talented fighter. He’s just one of those guys — he’s a grinder, not a finisher.”

White expressed frustration that neither Henderson nor Thomson went all out trying to finish the fight. Thomson had an excuse — he suffered a serious right hand injury in the second round — which limited his ability to throw punches. But White says that was a typical performance from Bendo, who, prior to his loss to Pettis last August, had won seven straight fights by decision.

Bendo is 0-2 in his career against Pettis, who is out until the summer after having surgery. Henderson lost to Pettis at WEC 53 in 2010 by decision and in August at UFC 154 by first-round armbar. Maybe he’s not finishing enough fights, but the guy is still really good and usually wins his bouts.

People love seeing knockouts and submissions, but should Henderson be penalized just because he’s not finishing fights? Probably not. I’m sure White will come around to giving Henderson a good fight and possible title shot when it comes down to it.

Dana White did not apologize to GSP or say he won the fight

Dana WhiteDana White denies that he called Georges St-Pierre to apologize the morning after his outburst following UFC 167 in Las Vegas.

Last week, we told you that GSP’s trainer, Kristof Midoux, told the Quebec Journal that White called GSP to apologize for going off on the decision that gave St-Pierre a controversial split-decision win over Johny Hendricks. White denied that that was the case.

“I had heard that, but no, that’s not true,” White told MMAjunkie. “I have not watched the fight yet.”

Not only did White say that the report was not true, but he also took a shot at Midoux while saying he never even re-watched the fight.

“I have not watched the fight,” White told MMA Junkie. “I still haven’t watched the fight. This guy’s like one of the new Kardashian sisters. This guy pops up out of nowhere, and now he’s everywhere.”

Now it comes down to whom do you believe? Do you believe what Midoux said or White? Did Midoux make something up? Was his interview lost in translation? Is White not being truthful? I seriously have no idea what’s going on here, but I still know that it was one controversial decision. I also think White had an unnecessarily harsh reaction to the UFC 167 decision.

Dana White apologized to GSP, admitted he won the fight

Georges St-Pierre UFC 167After calming down from his hissy fit, Dana White called Georges St-Pierre to apologize for ripping the champion and admitted to the Canadian fighter that he indeed beat Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 two weeks ago.

GSP’s trainer, Kristof Midoux, conducted an interview with the Quebec Journal recently and told them White called St-Pierre the morning after the fight to apologize.

“Few people know it, but the next morning he (White) called George and told him ‘I’m sorry, I watched the fight again and you have indeed won. I spoke under the influence of emotion,'” Midoux told The Journal.

“George told him he did not worry, he understood. He owes nothing to anyone, he fought all his life. ”

Though GSP took the apology well, Midoux is not satisfied. He says if he were GSP, he’d ask White to make a public apology. Midoux also says he wants Hendricks drug tested.

You may recall that White reacted so poorly to the GSP-Hendricks decision that he ripped the Nevada State Athletic Commission a new one and caused outraged among fans.

Did White apologize to GSP as lip service to get back in the good graces of his star fighter? Or did he do that because he genuinely believes St-Pierre won? If he really believed St-Pierre won after re-watching the fight, he should say so publicly to set the record straight.

H/T Low Kick MMA

Dana White: Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks are on track for a rematch

Georges St-PierreWith the way Dana White felt about the judges’ decision to award Georges St-Pierre a split-decision win over Johny Hendricks on Saturday night, you can understand why he is anxious to schedule a rematch. On Monday, White said he expects that rematch to come sooner rather than later.

“As far as a rematch, we’re on schedule and I’ll have a date within a couple weeks,” White said, via the LA Times. “I feel confident that Georges is fine with that and all is on track.”

White’s comments came after a TMZ report claimed that St-Pierre will be taking a break from fighting to deal with an unplanned pregnancy and the illness of his father. Despite the fact that St-Pierre said after Saturday’s fight that he needs time off to deal with personal issues that are driving him “crazy,” White insisted that the welterweight champion was simply “in a rage” and will not be going on hiatus.

White did not name a specific date for the rematch but said UFC’s Memorial Day Weekend card in Las Vegas is a possibility.

Over the weekend, White ripped the Nevada State Athletic Commission over their scoring of the St-Pierre-Hendricks fight. He felt that Hendricks clearly won the fight and does not want his sport to be accused of fixing the way boxing has been. Again, that likely has a lot to do with why White is in such a rush to get the wheels in motion for a rematch.

Dana White rips Nevada State Athletic Commission over GSP decision

Dana WhiteDana White blasted the judges and Nevada State Athletic Commission after Georges St-Pierre won a controversial split decision over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 on Saturday night.

Most people had Hendricks winning the fight in a decision 48-47 (three rounds to two), but two judges scored it 48-47 in favor of GSP, while the third had it by that score in favor of Hendricks. The two won Fight of the Night honors, but GSP retained his UFC welterweight title belt.

In his post-event press conference, White blasted the judging of the fight and said the state’s government needs to step in and address the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

“I’m blown away that Georges St-Pierre won that fight. Hey listen, I’m a promoter, [St-Pierre's] the biggest pay-per-view star on the f—ing planet for me, and I still think don’t think he won that fight.

“I want what’s fair, and that wasn’t fair,” White stated.

White turned his attention to the NSAC, which has been questioned following bad decisions in boxing recently.

“I think the Nevada State Athletic Commission is atrocious. I think the governor needs to step in immediately before these guys destroy the sport like they did boxing.

“The governor needs to step in and fix the incompetence that is happening in the state of Nevada that used to be the best commission in the world. It’s absolute 100 percent incompetence and it needs to stop. I’m f—ing scared to come back here and do fights. I’m afraid of this state.”

White has always been consistent in wanting fair outcomes for his product. He knows that having an honest product that fans can trust is extremely important. That’s why he’s so upset — he doesn’t want people thinking fights are fixed. I mean who didn’t think boxing fights were fixed when the same judge who scored Floyd Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez a draw also had Timothy Bradley over Manny Pacquiao? White doesn’t want the UFC getting a similar reputation for being fixed the way boxing has.

Dana White: Vitor Belfort not abusing TRT

Vitor BelfortThe recent resurgence and dominance by UFC light heavyweight Vitor Belfort have led many to question the Brazilian fighter’s use of TRT (testosterone replacement therapy), which has been a controversial topic in MMA circles.

Fighters who have been prescribed testosterone replacement therapy by a doctor can apply for therapeutic use exemptions from fight commissions. Both Belfort and 43-year-old Dan Henderson, whom Belfort beat last weekend, received TRT exemptions from Brazil’s fight commission for their bout. Belfort won the fight by a first-round head kick. It was his third consecutive win, third consecutive win by head kick, and third consecutive Knockout of the Night. Another thing all three of those fights have in common? They all took place in Brazil.

Some have speculated that Belfort is fighting in Brazil not just because of his popularity in his home country, but also because he’ll get a TRT exemption there, whereas he might not receive one from from the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Keep in mind that Belfort was fined and suspended nine months after testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone following his 2006 fight with Hendo.

Someone raised the possibility to Dana White that Belfort would have trouble being approved for a TRT exemption in the US.

“That’s not true, that’s completely not true,” White said after Saturday’s fight. “There’s no reason why Vitor Belfort can’t fight in Las Vegas or anywhere else in the United States. Vitor Belfort has not been abusing TRT. In a million f—ing years I would never let that happen … ever.”

White said he would call B.S. on Nevada if they prevented Belfort from receiving an exemption and look back at all the other instances where Nevada approved fighters with questionable pasts.

This TRT usage is a major issue in MMA whether White wants to admit it or not. It’s allowing old fighters, who likely abused steroids in the past (which would cause the drop in their testosterone levels), to drink from the fountain of youth. For the most part, it doesn’t seem very fair, regardless of what White says.

Glove touch to MMA Mania

Dana White: No way in hell Ronda Rousey retires in two years

Dana White Ronda Rousey shirtRonda Rousey caused a stir when she said last week that she might retire from MMA in two years. Rousey’s comment came in the context of her newfound acting career — she has roles in “The Expendables 3″ and “Fast & Furious 7.” The UFC women’s bantamweight champion is not transitioning from fighting to acting yet, but she said she might be ready to move on to the next phase in her life in two years.

UFC boss Dana White says that’s not happening.

“There’s no way in hell [she retires in two years],” White said at a UFC press conference in Boston on Thursday, per MMA Fighting.

White then repeated the same line he has used in the past when confronted with the possibility of losing one of his stars to the movies.

“I don’t care what Hollywood offers, they’re ain’t paying what we’re paying,” White said. “These guys, when they go out and make a movie, they’re not paying what we are.”

White may be confident that Rousey, 26, is not retiring in two years, but Rousey is thinking about her long-term prospects. Why fight for a living if she can make money acting?

“I think one profession has a much-longer shelf life than the other,” Rousey told MMA Junkie last week. “My last fight, I was kind of forced to face my mortality a little bit. I had an air of invincibility about me, and I was kind of forced to realize statistically there is a chance you could get permanently hurt or even die. There’s only so many times you can roll the dice.”

Rousey says that she wants to have an exit strategy in place for MMA because she knows it’s a short-term career. She also noted that she has experience as an Olympian and is used to working in four-year spans. In two years, her most recent four-year span of competing at a high level will be over.

I don’t think that Rousey will be done fighting in two years, but I think this is an indication that we should prepare for the likelihood that she won’t stick around the sport for too long. Since she’s one of the biggest figures in the sport, White will do almost anything to keep her around.