Last week, Dana White told ESPN's Ryan Hockensmith that he will be making an announcement this Thursday so big that will not only "blow people's minds" it will also be "an indicator of where this business is going over the next five years." Every body and their crazy friend has been speculating about just what Dana has up his sleeve. Jay Larkin of the IFL is trying to upstage Dana with a hastily planned press conference of his own. Jerry Park's even holding a contest to see who can guess what it will be.
Some of the stupidest claims have already been refuted. Some of them were just bad jokes. But some of the speculation has been thoughtful and worth a look.
Sam Caplan of 5oz. of Pain runs through several possibilities before settling on these two:
My prediction for Thursday is this: White will announce next that the UFC has signed a long-term agreement with FOX to televise fights on a quarterly basis on network primetime television along with a option to buy a portion of the company over time. I’m betting that the first show will be this September at UFC 88 in Atlanta and will be headlined by either Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva or Liddell vs. Rashad Evans.
The other possibility is that the deal could be with ABC/ESPN. White has done a lot of press with ESPN’s properties recently and the UFC had a role in getting ESPN’s new “ESPN Live” show on the air by allowing the Worldwide Leader to use its footage. Not to mention, Kenny Florian is a contracted UFC fighter and the show’s other co-host, Franklin McNeil of the Newark Star-Ledger, is someone that has had a good rapport with White. The fact that Dana made it a point to say he was disappointed by the Kimbo coverage on ESPN is also an intriguing statement.
But this audio interview with Dana seems to rule out that possibility at least that's what Kelsey Philpott of MMA Payout thinks it means.
Me personally, I got nothing, I've marked out for Dana's flim flam one too many times to get worked up in advance. When he pulls up his skirts and shows everybody what he's hiding under there I'll take a nice long look and let you know what I think, but in the meantime, this sailor has been teased once too often by the flirtatious Dana White.
UPDATE: Some very interesting speculation at the Underground and MMA Rated.