Brock Lesnar didn’t make it seem like Dana White was all that mad at him after his post-fight antics (as we scribed yesterday). Dana paints a slightly different picture in this interview below, but how can Dana be angry, like honestly? Brock Lesnar is the biggest name in MMA in the good old U.S. of A. – I understand he’s relatively new to the game, but he transcends across all sporting fan bases and has come in to the UFC like gangbusters. I know true MMA fans absolutely hate how Brock has come in and dominated the heavyweight division without the octagon being a part of his past like every other fighter, but he has the wrestling / athletic background, he knows how to train, he has the body, and he has that relentless mentality. As a fan of the sport, I’m really looking forward to seeing Brock take on Fedor Emelianenko. Dana always seems to satisfy the viewers – he’ll find a way to make this happen. White joined Into The Night with Tony Bruno to discuss the possibility of Fedor-Lesnar, the harsh talk about Brock’s post-fight blabbing, how big UFC 100 actually was, and the desire of Shaquille O’Neal to get in the octagon with Brock Lesnar. Seriously (well, as serious as Shaq can be).
What is your reaction to the media and fans criticizing Brock?
“All this stuff, that everyone’s talking about Lesnar: Lesnar picked up the mic and said some crazy stuff but at the end of the day the reality is, what he has accomplished is phenomenal. He only had four fights in the UFC, he’s beaten Heath Herring, Randy Couture, and he’s beaten Frank Mir, and the guy doesn’t have anywhere near the experience that these guys have. This guy could go down in history as the greatest heavyweight ever.”
Will you get Fedor Emelianenko in to the ring with Brock?
“My job is to put on the best fights in the world between the best fighters in the world, so, I’ve been trying to figure this Fedor thing out and get together with this guy – eventually, I’m confident we’ll get it done.”
How big was UFC 100?
“It was way bigger than I ever expected it to be… We aired for the first time in Mexico on Televisa live, we did over 25 million viewers in Mexico, we were in 75 different countries live, the pay-per-views are reporting through the roof right now, we were the biggest closed circuit event in closed circuit history. There are so many things I can keep popping off to you on how well this thing did. For me, you’re talking about a guy that went to my partners and said, ‘I think we should buy this thing’ when nobody wanted it, the sport was completely dead, the company was dead, so to have a weekend like this past weekend is pretty amazing for me.”
On other athletes training in MMA:
“Shaq texts and twitters me all the time saying he wants to fight Brock Lesnar. He’s been training for ten years; Shaq’s probably the only dude in the NBA that can actually fight… I told Shaq, I said listen, ‘Win another NBA championship this year and then we’ll talk next year.’ I love Shaq, let me tell ya, when things were rough on us and we were getting this company started, I couldn’t tell ya who was a better friend than Shaquille O’Neal. I couldn’t say enough good things about him.”