UFC president Dana White did an extended interview on Inside MMA on AXS TV last night and they covered a wide variety of subjects. The UFC 151 cancellation, Greg Jackson's part in it, MMA officiating and instant replay, UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva taking on two other UFC titleholders, and much more were all discussed. All the videos are in a nice, tidy playlist after the jump so you can head down there if you'd like to see for yourselves, but here are some of the best quotes from the interview either way (all transcription via Kevin Haggerty of MMA Mania).
On the cancellation of UFC 151:
"Let me tell you the way I look at it. In 12 years, we never had to cancel an event. We always delivered the show, and I was proud of that. But, all good runs and streaks come to an end, and that one came to an end. Now we need to get on another 12 year run. The thing that really bummed me out would be breaking the streak. I honestly never thought we'd ever have to cancel a show. The Thursday night, the week of the show, I went to dinner at The Mandalay Bay, and there were so many people in town. Yes, you could have refunded your tickets, but so many people got cheap flights, the cheapest flights you could get, and they got their rooms, and they couldn't get out of that. So, they still took the trip to Vegas. The collateral damage of cancelling an event like that is bigger than people even realize."
On Greg Jackson's role in Jon Jones turning down the fight with Chael Sonnen:
"I think I was open and honest and a little emotional, when it first went down, and, I'll tell ya, Greg Jackson told him, 'If you take this fight, it'll be the biggest mistake you ever make in your whole career.' Every time I say it, I laugh. No disrespect to Chael Sonnen, but it's the most insane thing I've ever heard in my life. Jon and I will talk, and we'll figure this thing out."
Dana also said he hasn't spoken to Jones since then, but they'll talk in Toronto and "figure it out". Check out a lot more after the jump.
White is a fan of instant replay in MMA, because of the shaky officiating:
"I'm with you on the instant replay. Every other major sport has instant replay. Fighting needs to do it. Especially with how bad the officiating has been: judges and reffing. Instant replay -- that's it. They got this thing with combat sports, these athletic commissions have this thing where it's like, once a guy makes a decision, it can't be overturned.
I think it's one of the worst things that can happen, if a guy loses a fight, that didn't really lose that fight. It effects their money. It effects everything. I mean, Jon Jones has a loss on his record that isn't right. That wasn't a loss. He should be undefeated right now. We should be able to go out and promote Jon Jones as the undefeated, undisputed Light Heavyweight champion, but we can't, because there was a guy reffing a fight that didn't belong there."
This is one point where Dana's actually wrong. 12-6 elbows are in the rulebook, and it was pretty obvious that he was throwing them. The ref actually did his job. If Dana doesn't like that Jones has a DQ on his record, do something to change the rules. Don't blame the ref in that situation.
"So, here's how this whole thing has gone down, and you guys have seen it play out. Anderson and 'GSP' were talking like they didn't wanna fight. Now, if St. Pierre beats Carlos Condit, he's saying he wants to fight Anderson, and Anderson is saying he wants to fight him. So, that fight will probably happen first. Now, Anderson and Jones are saying, 'We don't wanna fight. We're buddies.' But, he didn't wanna fight Rashad Evans either, and that happened. So, as you start to get to a point where Anderson is, in his career -- he's beat everyone. He's broken every record in the UFC. If he beats Georges St. Pierre, I guarantee you he'll be eyeballing Jon Jones next."