source: Steven Marrocco and John Morgan | mmajunkie.com
LAS VEGAS – Dana White said he "wasn't in the mood" to attend the UFC on FOX 2 post-event press conference – after 10 years of not missing a fight and maybe missing only a handful of pressers.
"I usually try to skip press conferences where I know I'm going to," White said before someone offered, "get hammered?"
In so many words, yes. Three main-card fights went to a decision during the Jan. 28 event, and he knew naysayers would be out in force and that there would be much hand-wringing over the future of UFC on network TV.
He skipped it because he didn't want hear that. And he didn't want to say what he wanted to those who thought it was a lackluster event for the small screen: Shut up.
With Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller cued up for UFC on FOX 3 in May, it appears the promotion has a fight that should be exciting no matter what. But for all the criticism aimed at the most recent network event, and to observers who claim they saw a boring show coming, White couldn't restrain himself at a pre-event press conference for UFC 143, which takes place Saturday at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
"There was so much hype for (Chael) Sonnen vs. (Michael) Bisping and the (Demian) Maia fight," he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "Even after it changed, people were like, 'It's even more exciting now.' And then after, everybody's like, 'Aww, they set themselves up for these boring fights.' Shut up. People who come out after and say, 'Oh, we knew (this was going to happen),' you're a liar. You're a liar, you're an idiot, and you sound like an idiot when you say that.
"These fights all looked exciting. You just never know what's going to happen. Anything can happen on any given night."
White did concede that an unofficial streak of exciting fights over the course of several recent events was broken by UFC on FOX 2, but he said that was inevitable.
"You could have three fights go to decisions, or you could have three fights that you think are going to go longer and it lasts 60 seconds," he said. "It's fighting. The hardest part of the whole thing is figuring out production. How many fights can you schedule with the commercial load that you've got and all the other things that you have to do? We did a pretty good job of getting this thing dialed in after that first fight going 60 seconds."
And he said the shape of the current FOX broadcasts will continue to evolve.
"It's going to be more about fighting," White said. "FOX has a system that they use with sports, where it's like they come in to the big desk and, 'Here we go, and we're going to do this and that.' What people are used to with the UFC is [Mike Goldberg] and (Joe) Rogan are on camera for two seconds and we get right into fights. We end up getting 40 fights in in an hour."
So that night, White essentially lost patience for those without patience.
He scoffed at the idea of shuffling a card to avoid televising a fight such as Maia vs. Chris Weidman, which saw two exhausted men swinging Toughman-style after 10 minutes as the likely result of Weidman's 30-plus pound weight cut and a possible illness with Maia.
First-time fans who watched that affair may have been less than impressed by what they saw. But White isn't tweaking things for them.
"So what?" he said. "It's all part of the growing pains of the sport. When we started on Spike TV, everybody was acting like every fight we had on Spike TV was the greatest fight you've ever seen in your life. The streak has been broken. You're going to have some fights that you're going to turn off the TV and go, 'Eh, it's not the greatest fight I've ever seen.'
"Would I have turned off the show the other night and said that sucked? No, it didn't suck. The Bisping-Chael Sonnen fight was awesome."
White probably wouldn't argue with the notion that the rest of UFC on FOX 2's main card wasn't the greatest fight ever seen.
He just wasn't in the mood to hear it then. He's not too much in the mood right now.