Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images
Zuffa held a conference call today to promote both the upcoming UFC 127 show and April's UFC 129 show in Toronto, Ontario. UFC President Dana White, B.J. Penn, and Jon Fitch were on hand for the call. Highlights provided by Luke Thomas via Twitter and SB Nation MMA:
- Dana says last set of international fights were sellouts. Goes over Rogers Centre UFC 129 records. Largest North American gate, a Rogers Centre record. Says the event will do $11 million gate.
- Dana says 17,000 tickets sold for UFC 127, added 400 seats over the last Australia event.
- Dana uses UFC 129's ticket sales to prove UFC will be biggest sport in the world. He also says when "new deals" get done, UFC will be in over a billion homes.
- In terms of a show in Dallas, he says UFC 129 ticket sales motivates him. Says, however, as big as the stadium is there aren't enough hotel rooms.
- White not sure if he'd do stadiums in other cities. He said you can do them with the right fights, but is very non-committal.
- White says The Ultimate Fighter is going to air in every country. 2011 is going to do TUF UK, TUF Canada. First one will be TUF Philippines.
- Dana White says there is a day coming where fights will be held in Las Vegas & Australia at the same time.
- When asked if it's hard to get motivation up, Fitch says "When fighting BJ Penn? Hell no."
- B.J. Penn says in training with Matt Hughes, it came about by talking to Hughes' boxing coach Matt Pena. Pena gave B.J. Hughes' number. Wasn't sure about the response he was going to get. Says he had a great time training and Hughes is the best partner he could've had.
- Penn says, "It's going to be hard to be competitive if you chop off your right leg," in terms of Kenny Florian's weight cut to featherweight.
- In terms of having a future at 155 pounds, Penn says, "I don't even like cutting the weight." Says it's not a tough cut, but he's not sure it's ultimately a healthy thing.
- Dana White says he didn't see the Strikeforce show.
- Jon Fitch has no opinion on Georges St. Pierre vs. Jake Shields. Penn says Jake Shields will do well. "It's a toss-up," says Penn. Penn also says Dan Henderson would do well against St. Pierre.