UFC President Dana White took part Wednesday at noon in a special Q&A session with approximately forty fans in Toronto.
Here are the highlights from the Q&A:
- White said he wants to bring the UFC to Massachusetts and New York in early 2009.
- White called the CBS "60 Minutes" piece on the IFL (which aired Dec. 2006) "one of the most irresponsible journalistic things" he's ever seen. White said he knew from day one that the IFL would fail. The "60 Minutes" story made it appear that the IFL would be a huge success, and a lot of people lost money as a result. The story boosted the IFL's stock to over $15, but the company's stock would keep declining, dropping to as low as a penny by July 2008.
- The UFC estimates that Affliction lost 4 to 4.5 million dollars on its first show.
- All the heavier (middleweight and light-heavyweight) WEC fighters will be moved to the UFC, and the WEC will eventually be all lighter weight fighters.
- White said he was bummed to lose Andrei Arlovski to Affliction, but Arlovski wanted to box and the UFC requires its fighters to compete exclusively for the company.
- White said Ontario "no doubt" doesn't want MMA, but the UFC will eventually take the time and money to educate the commission and get MMA sanctioned in the province.
- Among the fighters he's especially close with that he considers his buddies are Chuck Liddell (White called Liddell his best friend in the industry), Matt Hughes, Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin. The two fighters on White's "hate list" are Tito Ortiz (#1 on White's hate list) and Frank Shamrock, whom White called a moron.
- The reason the UFC signed Mirko "Cro Cop" was to take away one of PRIDE's biggest stars, making it easier to buy the Japanese promotion. White said: "It was really a business move to buy PRIDE, that's why we signed 'Cro Cop.' It wasn't like we brought 'Cro Cop' in because we thought was going to take over the heavyweight division. I think that's what the fans thought -- the hardcore fans that thought they knew a lot about PRIDE. It was a business move to kill PRIDE."
- White said the continual destruction of "The Ultimate Fighter" house has gotten too ridiculous and "won't be happening anymore."
- White likes Mike Swick and wants to give him big fights but Swick is injury-prone and that has slowed his career down.
- White doesn't believe the Fedor Emelianenko hype. Said he "couldn't have been f--kin' happier" with Fedor's win over Sylvia: "Tim Sylvia's been boring me from years, and finally it was good to see him get wrecked. The only good thing he did was break Fedor's hand with his face, apparently." Said Fedor needs to prove himself by fighting the best in the world.
- Quinton "Rampage" Jackson had delirium due to exhaustion and dehydration. After his loss to Forrest Griffin, the deeply religious Jackson went on a fast. Jackson didn't eat anything or drink water, and all he consumed were energy drinks.
- Matt Hughes hurt his knee in the Thiago Alves fight. As soon as Hughes' knee is healed, he'll be back.