Dana White has last word on UFC 118
UFC 118 is in the books, and while we count down the days to the next marquee events (UFC Fight Night on Sept. 15; UFC 119 on Sept. 25), enough went down in Boston to occupy our minds for a spell.
ESPN.com got on the horn with UFC chief Dana White, the former South Boston resident who skipped Beantown in 1995 to build a fighting empire in Las Vegas, to pick his brain on the UFC's inaugural event in his former hometown.
One and done
White says you should not expect to see boxer James Toney back in the UFC -- unless it's sitting in the front row at a card.
"No, I like James, he's one of my all-time favorites; I have a ton of respect for him, but he's not a mixed martial artist," White said. Toney proved this in sad fashion, getting pummeled and submitted by Couture in 3 minutes, 19 seconds of the first round on Saturday.
Reports that Toney netted between $750,000 and $1,000,000 for the Couture fight are "bull----," White said, though he declined to give a concrete figure.
Viewers were somewhat horrified at Toney's plumber's crack on display at Friday's weigh-in. White said he wasn't.
"You should have seen how big he was when we signed the deal! We sent cameras to see him working out and he was working his a-- off."
Erm not enough, apparently. Toney's inability to push himself away from the table, White said, didn't lose him the fight.
Agreed. Toney could have entered the Octagon at 220, and Couture's skills would've been too much.
It looked to my eyes as though Boston-area fighter Ken Florian may have reached a point where the tread on his tires is worn down.
White, though, sees something else in the 34-year-old veteran: "I like Kenny, but in big fights, he chokes."
Florian (13-5) does not agree and has another take on Gray Maynard's unanimous decision win. "Gray Maynard outwrestled me," Florian told ESPN.com. "I didn't crumble. I know who I am and what the real deal is."
Mileage, according to the fighter, isn't an issue. "I haven't had the [wear-and-tear] career of a brawler."
One great lightweight
Frankie Edgar (12-1) showed he is the real deal, not a mere aberration. "He should absolutely be in the top three, pound-for-pound," White said of the New Jersey fighter.
Rewriting Penn's legacy
"B.J. Penn should be undefeated," White said of the 15-6-1 Hawaiian, who sounded as though he'd be pondering his future hard after getting dominated by Edgar in Boston. "All-time, his legacy I don't know where he sits now. He couldn't do anything against Edgar. He got completely dominated."
Has Penn slipped athletically? Has he peaked, at age 31? "It looked like it the other night," White said.
Pastries versus White; pastries win UD
White admitted he enjoyed an eating tour of his old haunts. The UFC boss was no match for pastries in the North End.
"I ate too many," he said. "I'm getting my fat, James Toney ass to the gym right now!"