Three things we learned from Dana White’s post-fight press conference.
After season six of Dana White’s Contender Series ended with five more contracts, Dana White answered questions at his post-fight press conference. The conversation ranged from Bo Nickal’s return to what weight class Khamzat Chimaev would be fighting in; here is what we learned.
1. White knew exactly what he was doing by making Bo Nickal fight twice on DWCS
“After what you saw tonight, you know I made the right decision,” White said when asked about the talk of why not just sign Nickal after the first appearance. There was much debate on why Nickal, a highly touted prospect, didn’t get a contract the first time.
Between his August appearance and Tuesday night’s fight, Nickal’s return has been highly anticipated and a hot topic in MMA and ESPN.
“Sportscenter’s been talking about him for three days, couldn’t have done it any better if I must say so myself, which apparently I must,” White stated about Nickal’s return.
It was a foregone conclusion to those in the know that Nickal was getting a UFC contract. So bringing him back for a second fight made promotional sense, and both the UFC and Nickal knew the result.
2. Dana White isn’t telling why media and fans are barred from UFC Vegas 61
On Monday the media learned they would not be allowed into the UFC APEX for UFC Vegas 61 on Saturday, but there was no reason given and White wasn’t giving up anything when asked.
White played it as funny but sarcastic, saying, ” You guys have been so busy lately; we’ll give you a night off.”
White was asked if he would reveal the big secret Saturday, to which he said, “There’s no big secret.” White pointed at Fansided’s Amy Kaplan and said with a smile, “Little trouble-maker, I know she’s been poking around all week.”
He was all smiles and having fun, keeping whatever the reasons were to himself.
3. Khamzat Chimaev’s future weight division was a hot topic in Tuesday’s match-making meetings
The topic of conversation was whether Chimaev would fight at 170 pounds or 185 pounds going forward.
“That was the big debate we had in the match-making meeting,” White said of the decision to be made. Chimaev forced this conversation when he missed weight at UFC 279 by more than seven pounds.
As the conversation continued, White admitted consulting Chimaev’s team when making this decision.
“What does he really want? Somebody get in there and figure out what he wants to do, and let’s make a fight.”
The UFC must decide now between jeopardizing another card if Chimaev stays at 170 or moving up to 185 pounds. Either way, the polarizing Chimaev will draw eyeballs.