NEW YORK NY - JANUARY 13: Dana White UFC President speaks during a press conference to announce commitment to bring UFC to Madison Square Garden and New York State at Madison Square Garden on January 13 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
There seem to be two kinds of Dana White interviews these days, the by the numbers stuff about world dominance and the open and honest (or as honest as a promoter can be) interview. Sports Illustrated has the chance to sit down with Dana and they got one of those fantastic open interviews. There is plenty of great stuff in the interview including Dana making a vague statement that he is unhappy with some things going on behind the scenes:
SI.com: What are you looking at?
White: First of all, there're things going on that I'm unhappy with, here at the company, that we're going to fix and change over the next few months, and you're going to see us get back on track here in the next few months. As you start to get bigger and you start to expand into all these different places, and you're working on all these crazy deals, things start to get out of control. I'm going to get some more control around here in the next three months. And that includes my business as a whole, my actual office and employees and departments, right down to s--- that's going on with the fighters.
And some very interesting thoughts on Fedor Emelianenko:
SI.com: Fedor Emelianenko has a big fight coming up. Do you feel a bit vindicated? Because for years you were saying, "This guy's been fighting some dodgy opposition on short notice, and let's see what happens when he fights in a cage under unified rules." And we've seen what's happened.
White: No, I don't feel vindicated. Listen, I'm not out to hurt Fedor, or hurt any fighter. People ask me my opinions, I give you my opinion on what I think about a fighter. It's like the Kimbo Slice thing. You know, I said, "Kimbo Slice, this guy is always going to be the toughest guy at the barbecue, but he's never going to da-da-da-da-da." And then, Kimbo Slice, I give him the offer. "You want to come over? I don't think you can win The Ultimate Fighter, but I'll give you the opportunity if you want to try it." Bring him in, and he doesn't.
Well, I like Kimbo Slice, ends up the guy is the nicest guy in the world when I meet him, and so is his management. The guys who handled him were great people to work with and everything else. It doesn't mean that I feel vindicated and I say, "See, I told you, I told you that Kimbo Slice couldn't do this."
Listen, I'm in the fight business, and I think that I know a little bit about the fight business. I've been in it since I was 19. And I'm going to have my opinions on fighters, just like you sports reporters or the fans, you know? Sometimes I'm right, and sometimes I'm wrong. I didn't think that Kimbo Slice could win The Ultimate Fighter. I thought the Fedor hype was ridiculous. And the people who were really as great people as he thought he was weren't getting their dues, you know?
A guy like Anderson Silva, who's really fought the best competition in the world since 2006, and beat them all. Even in a fight where he was injured and was getting the s--- kicked out him, he pulls off the submission with a minute twenty left in the fight. Those are the guys that deserve to be talked about and deserve to be called the greatest, and you had these reporters who were calling Fedor the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world. Are you s------- me? You know, it's stuff like that. But I don't feel vindicated, I don't have any dislike toward Fedor. I was just trying to set the record straight and tell these people that they're out of their minds.