White has last word on UFC 119
His demeanor following the UFC 119 card in Indianapolis was uncharacteristically curt. Dana White's postfight press conference was short, and not overly sweet.
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He then promised himself that he'd stay quiet for a good long spell, or he'd risk speaking with an excess of candor. Thankfully for us, we managed to lure the UFC president into a chat to offer an examination of a card which was brought down by a mega-dud of a main event, and the candor flowed like the river of friend requests ring-card girl Arianny Celeste gets on Facebook.
Here are three main takeaways from UFC 119 from the UFC's head honcho.
White's not budging on the judging
White said he wouldn't have been overly surprised if ex-welterweight champion Matt Serra (17-7) had his hand raised after his ballsy showing against Chris Lytle (40-17-4) in the battle of 36-year-olds.
Lytle, an ex-pro boxer and Indy native, earned a unanimous decision in a stand-up battle. But White feared another judging snafu after the arbiters saw 37-year-old Minnesotan Sean Sherk (38-4-1) as the victor over 28-year-old Oregonian Evan Dunham (11-1), who almost submitted the veteran a number of times.
"Dunham won that fight," White said. "The judges give to Sherk. People then ask themselves, 'What the f--- was that? It makes people angry. It p---ed me off. You have that, and then the main event [a dud between Frank Mir and Mirko Filipovic], and then even though there were a bunch of great fights, especially in the prelims, and that's what people are left with."
White hammers it into his fighters' heads: If you don't finish the fight, you run the risk of being robbed like he thinks Dunham was.
"Our judges are so bad," he said. "That's why I tell guys, you better get in there and handle your business yourself."
Not Mir-ly miffed
When a guy talks the talk like ex-heavyweight champion Mir (14-5) did about how he'll put Filipovic's leg on a mantle with other trophies from fellow victims Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Brock Lesnar, White wants him to walk the walk.
Sadly for the fans in Indy and in TV-land, Mir's trash talking far exceeded his effort in the Octagon.
"I have no clue about Frank," said White, before offering a clue. "To talk the stuff he does, and then fight like he fought, that's a little frustrating. Once Cro Cop stuffed his takedown attempt, his heart fell out on the floor. If Frank Mir can't bully you, his heart shrinks to the size of the Grinch's. If he can't take you down, his heart shrinks to the size of a pea."
Might we have seen the last of the 31-year-old Mir, a UFC fighter since 2001, in the Octagon? Could White cut him?
"Sure," said White, wiping some candor off his chin. "You really, really need to show up and deliver. This is a job."
Which leads into our last takeaway
He'll take their job and shove it
White doesn't get the outcry which flows when he cuts a subpar performer, as he says he's contemplating with Mir.
"You go to your job and don't perform, what will happen? And when people say, 'Hey, these guys put their lives on the line,' that's a crock of s---. This sport is so safe. These guys have chosen to be fighters!"
White says there are many jobs out there that put men and women at bigger risk, with far less of a payoff.
"These guys aren't going into Afghanistan," he said. "The U.S. military puts their life on the line. Police, firefighters walk into the line of fire UFC fighters do not. These are smart guys with college educations. If they don't want to do this, go out and get a real job."