With UFC 155
taking place tommorow night, and the MMA world looking forward to 2013, there was plenty to talk about this week in Vegas. The big topics were the impending demise of Strikeforce and the future of the talent over there, PEDs, Junior dos Santos arms, and the ups and downs of the UFC throughout the past year. So let's get into our fight week notes.
When asked if Strikeforce Lightweight
Champion Gilbert Melendez
would get an immediate title shot in the UFC, Dana White answered with a smooth "Probably". If you are Gilbert Melendez right now, that has got to be the best news you have heard all year. The ups and downs of being a Strikeforce
champion are all going into the rearview, and it shouldn't be long before we see 'El Nino' in the octagon.
Another 155 pounder that has been in the UFC's sights is Eddie Alvarez
, the former Bellator Lightweight Champion and current free agent. Dana gave us less news on that front, leaving us with a to-be-continued of sorts, saying he couldn't speak on the negotiations with Alvarez, but that it would 'get ugly' with Viacom.
When asked if the dealings with Strikeforce after the purchase would lead Zuffa to not buy up any other promotions, Dana said he'd 'never say never' to doing so again in the future.
The most recent subject of the Dana White F-bomb was Victor Conte, with Dana saying "F--- Victor Conte". White was quick to elaborate on his rationale behind the statement, saying that Conte was someone who couldn't make any money in the PED game, so he switched sides and now makes money as an anti-doping advocate. Dana also noted that if the full-roster random drug testing did in fact take place, that the largest outcome would be more fighters getting busted for marijuana than performance enhancing drugs. An interesting and candid statement coming from the UFC boss, also noting that "out of 475 fighters, youd have 400 test positive" for marijuana.
Alistair Overeem applied for a license for his upcoming fight yesterday, the exact anniversary date of his one-year suspension he received for a failed drug coming out of the Lesnar fight at the UFC's year-end card last year. He is expected to get the up or down from the NSAC on January 8th.
Dana White posted two video blogs so far this week, detailing the UFC on Fox 5
post fight backstage happenings, and a grappling match between Joe Lauzon
and Nick the tooth. We also got a glimpse of Rhonda Rousey pre-being crowned Champion at the presser prior to the UFC on Fox 5.
When reflecting on 2012 in an interview with Ariel Helwani from MMAFighting.com, Dana acknowledged that the low point for him in 2012 was the UFC 149
in Calgary. 2012 was eye opening in a lot of ways for the UFC, with the prevalence of injuries removing key fighters from big cards, even causing the cancellation of UFC 151
. It ain't over yet though, as we have ourselves a big ole heavyweight title fight tommorow night, and lets all knock on wood that nobody gets arrested in the hotel on fight day, no one trips and knocks themselves out in the sauna, and no one pukes in front of the commission.
Follow me on Twitter: @mikewellman88