UFC 230 was a legitimately great card with lots of drama, big wins, and hard falls. It was a nice departure from the sideshow that was UFC 229.
UFC 229 was actually addressed by Dana White, but for the most part he stuck to the script, and talked about a quality night of fights, starting with Daniel Cormier’s intention to potentially retire after the Brock Lesnar fight. White was direct about his thoughts.
“I never convince anyone to stick around. If somebody thinks they’re done, you’ll never hear an argument out of me. When you say you’re done, you’re probably done. You think about Cormier, and he’s been doing this for a long time, whether wrestling, mixed martial arts, and he’s gonna be 40 years old soon. He’s got a lot of wear and tear on his body.”
The second biggest story of the night was Israel Adesanya’s rise to the middleweight top. Apparently he’s a backup in the Robert Whittaker bout at UFC 234 against Kelvin Gastelum.
“I love this kid. I literally can’t tell you enough good things about this kid.”
Speaking of middleweight, he assessed Ronaldo Souza’s performance against Chris Weidman.
“Weidman was absolutely picking him apart,” White said. “Jacare would not stop moving forward man. He was moving forward, throwing punched. He was ripping him to the body. Great body shots he was throwing but he just wouldn’t quit. You could tell he wanted to win this fight so bad.”
White is wrong about the first part. At first I thought it was a chunkily sequenced, mechanically clunky fight for Jacare, but he ended tenderizing the legs, body, and head of a fighter who looked (frankly) better than ever in a gutsy, knockout win. He’s right about everything else. Going on down to the lighter weights, fans got confirmation about Ben Askren’s Twitter status.
“Yea we had a chance to talk,” he said. “This guy thinks I hate him. If I hated you, why would I do this? I’m the one who did this deal. I’m the one who came up with this deal. This was my idea. Why would I do this if I hated you so bad and didn’t want you to be here? I didn’t even know he was blocked on Twitter.”
White was asked about the change of pace between UFC 230, which was expertly executed versus UFC 229, which exploded into controversy and lawlessness.
“It is what it is. I say this all the time. This is the fight business. You’re gonna have people who don’t like each other. Israel and Brunson didn’t like each other. There was some animosity between those two. But that’s normal. These people fight for a living. You’re gonna have the guys that don’t like each other, and you’re gonna have the guys that totally respect each other and have no problems. It’s all good to me.”
White added that he thought the UFC handled the fracas excellently.