UFC president Dana White did a wide-ranging 24-minute interview with MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani where he discussed a who bunch of issues. The initial subject was UFC 155, but it quickly branched off into subjects including their position in promoting, the future of PPV, the best and worst of 2012, the closure of Strikeforce, his relationship with partners Flash Entertainment, and much more. You can watch the whole video above, or check out some choice quotes below.
After saying that he wasn't aware of Cain Velasquez's knee injury in his first bout with Junior dos Santos at UFC on Fox 1, he discussed Chris Leben and Todd Duffee. His Duffee talk led him to talk about how generous Zuffa are as promoters:
"There's never been a promoter in history who treats their fighters the way we do, and if there is, I've never f**kin heard of him. We take very good care of everybody. We pay guys money we don't owe them, just because we want to and we feel that they delivered or, you know, we were happy with their performance. Whatever the reason might be, we pay guys money that we don't owe them. Every event."
He believes that boxing is increasingly following the UFC model in terms of promotion, and said that he's happy that Oscar De La Hoya and Bernard Hopkins have been honest about the UFC influence in their business. He also stated that he believes that PPV will still be around in five years. From there, he moved onto 2012 and said that it was an "odd" year, and they faced a lot of challenges:
"It was an odd year, in that things that you didn't see affecting your business a couple years ago - happened. If you'd have told me two years ago that there will be a year when every one of your main event guys will get hurt and you'd have to cancel your main and co-main events, I'd have said 'I don't even think that's possible. I guess anything's possible, but I can't see it happening'. But what I think last year really showed us is that you have a lot of people who love to hate on the UFC, love to talk negatively about the business. I think if there was ever proof that this business is here to stay, it was last year."
He also gave his opinion on what the worst thing that happened in 2012, and it surprisingly wasn't the UFC 151 cancellation:
"In all honesty, I think we delivered great events all year except for Calgary. You know, I think that I'm always very confident going into an event that we're going to deliver, because the guys do. They always deliver. And we didn't. We did not deliver in Calgary, and that was probably the lowest of the lows. Even canceling the Jones event (UFC 151) wasn't as bad as the Calgary event. We went in there, we sold out, and there were a lot of people upset about that Calgary event."
The second half of the interview covered a bunch of the subjects above, plus some talk about MMA Media (Sherdog will be credentialed again), buying everyone drinks on a trip to Ireland next month, and that he has a firm date for his Meniere's Disease surgery - January 15th. And he still intends to be in Brazil on the 17th for7.