"These fights lead to bigger fights."
After an injury-laden 2014 campaign, that message seemed to be UFC president Dana White's promise to fans for next year's schedule.
Speaking Monday at the promotion's 'The Time is Now' press conference featuring some of the company's biggest stars, White explained how much of 2015's matchmaking would be in the hands of the fighters.
"The [Dan] Cormier-[Jon] Jones fight is a fight people have been talking about for a long time," White told FOX Sports. "At the same time, Anthony Johnson and [Alexander] Gustafsson will fight and both the winners of those fights will match up later on this year."
Not something we hadn't already heard, but White alluded that the same guidelines could apply to a few other notable names.
"Every one of these fights leads to a bigger fight," White repeated. "Anderson Silva is fighting Nick Diaz, then [middleweight champion] Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort will fight. Anderson Silva could fight the winner of that fight."
Weidman most recently prevailed over Lyoto Machida in a five-round unanimous decision at UFC 175 in July, but Silva will have been removed from action for 13 months before facing Nick Diaz Jan. 31 at UFC 183.
"Then you have [featherweight contender] Connor McGregor," said White. "Everybody has been talking about Conor McGregor. This kid burst onto the scene and if he wins in Boston, and that fight is live and free on FOX Sports 1, if he wins that fight in Boston we could be talking about a big fight with [featherweight champion] Jose Aldo."
Headlining the UFC's Boston Fight Night event Jan. 18 against Dennis Siver, McGregor has been vocal over his belief that he'd be granted the next shot at Aldo.
Although it was in language that would make any contract lawyer squirm, White didn't totally forsake featherweight contender Cub Swanson.
"Cub Swanson has been screaming for respect and for us to show him the love," said White. "He's taking on Frankie Edgar, who is a beast. Longtime champion at 155 pounds, moved down the 145 pounds to take on Cub. And yes, if Cub Swanson wins this fight we did tell him we would give him a title shot."
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Highlights from Monday's 'The Time is Now' press conference. (full presser here)
Highlights from Bellator 131.
Robin Black's breakdown of Frankie Edgar.
Scott Coker talks the 'rebirth of Bellator.'
Ronda still has Gina Carano on her mind.
Nice to see.
Lorenzo Fertitta (@lorenzofertitta) November 17, 2014
Bus 1 or Bus 2?
Cat Zingano (@CatZingano) November 17, 2014
"@MetamorisPro: We're looking for someone to submit Vinny Magalhaes for $10,000" Their is not a man in all the lands.— chael sonnen (@sonnench) November 18, 2014
Good to hear.
Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) November 17, 2014
Just a thought.. But I've learned a big lesson in life and business: sometimes u should just stay with the devil u know @ufc— Quinton Jackson (@Rampage4real) November 18, 2014
More on the Roufusport fallout.
I don't care what backlash I'll get I am standing up for what's right. No one is perfect but without honesty you've got nothing.— Rose Namajunas (@rosenamajunas) November 17, 2014
The death of this young man is bad enough but for these people to piggy back off it to push their agendas is sad #RIPDM— Michael (@TeamRocBiggie) November 17, 2014
THIS IS NOT AN ATTACK ON AN INDIVIDUAL THIS IS ABOUT THE UNFORTUNATE DEATH OF DENNIS MUNSON JR. WATCH THE VIDEO. http://t.co/pjwJ4rq6qC— Pat Barry (@HypeOrDie) November 18, 2014
Conor You better pray on both knees that Dennis Siver doesn't get hurt, sonnyboy @TheNotoriousMMA— Nik Lentz (@NikLentz) November 18, 2014
@danawhite thank you so much for the words of motivation. Better luck next time.— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) November 18, 2014
@titoortiz think people lined up to fight him??? Bitch i just said ur name cuz u was slick side hatin. U a pure bitch at heart.— King Mo (@KingMoFH) November 18, 2014
@titoortiz i had to check ur bitch ass for them comments u been makin. Say some more gorilla shit to me and itll be S.O.S when I see u.— King Mo (@KingMoFH) November 18, 2014
@titoortiz Slap On Sight.....u lil bitch....in my pimp c voice— King Mo (@KingMoFH) November 18, 2014
@KingMoFH ya keep it ghetto my brother. And keep making that change with cheap ass umbrellas & rent an entourage.— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) November 18, 2014
@titoortiz its pointless tryna fight u cuz u just gonna sound like Khia....sayin my neck n my back...u want it...then tell Coker.— King Mo (@KingMoFH) November 18, 2014
@KingMoFH it was your walk out not mine. It's cool keep up the grind. Great come back.— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) November 18, 2014
@titoortiz yup....and u the one that wont fight me but u wanna talk behind my back like a lil ol bitch.— King Mo (@KingMoFH) November 18, 2014
King Mo vlog.
Announced yesterday (Nov. 17 2014)
Konstantin Erokhin vs. Viktor Pesta at UFC on FOX 14
Yan Cabral vs. Mairbek Taisumov at UFC on FOX 14
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via 15Minutes2ADream.
Well, I feel as though I cannot lie about this. As an MMA fan and as a fully grown man, I seriously marked out last Saturday night. I bounced giddily about my bed like a schoolgirl with glee when I heard about all the MMA goodness that would be gracing our humble screens, Mark Hunt getting a shot at the belt against Werdum, Tito and Bonnar having some pro wrestling antics in the lead up to their old man slapfight. Not to mention of taste of Cokertor, in all of it's sexy slightly Japanese styled glory. It was needless to say, but both screens in my household ran the shows that night, and much rejoicing was done (Well ok, mostly me geeking out and not resting for work like I should have been.).
But it is now two days after the fact, and fortunately my brain that was simmering in my head like I'd set it on a bunson burner has been cooled by the oncoming Winter weather and given me time to reflect. It's in this time that I'm forced to ask the question. Was it all it was cracked up to be? Did we really get all we expected out of what was being called "Super Saturday"?
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.