Dana White Talks Jon Jones, Poirier vs McGregor, Featherweight Title Bout
UFC Vegas 17 this weekend marks the end to a rollercoaster 2020 for president Dana White and his team, who have worked tirelessly to make sure the show goes on, amid the coronavirus outbreak.
With 2021 around the corner, Dana already has big plans for the upcoming year. Speaking to BT Sports (as transcribed by The Mac Life), the UFC chief talked about Jon Jones’ return, the rematch between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor, Israel Adesanya’s next fight, and a planned featherweight title bout between the champion Alex Volkanovski, and Brian Ortega.
Despite the fact that Jones has stated on numerous occasions that he is focused on moving to heavyweight and winning his second UFC belt, Dana has previously said that he was unsure of his plans. The UFC president however, has now said that he has had a great chat with ‘Bones’ to clear up any confusion.
“I’m trying to think of how long Jon Jones has been in the UFC now. It’s ten plus years,” Dana said. “Jon Jones and I had the best conversation we’ve ever had about a week ago. He’s ready to come back. His heads in the right place and he and I are in a really good place.”
While Jones wants a title shot at heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, Dana said that he won’t jump the line ahead of Francis Ngannou.
“He doesn’t get to jump over Francis and fight for a title,” Dana stated. “I don’t know what we’re going to do yet or how it’s going to play out, but we’re working on it.”
But whoever the UFC matches him up against at heavyweight, Jones will be up for the challenge.
“I do [think he’ll be revitalised],” Dana said. “I think he’s excited for this challenge, and he’s excited to cement his legacy as the greatest to ever do it.”
Poirier vs McGregor
Poirier and McGregor will face each other at UFC 257 on January 23rd in a rematch for the ages. The two fought the first time at featherweight at UFC 178 in 2014, with the Irishman winning the fight via first round TKO. Both have sharpened their skills since then, and Dana believes their lightweight bout will be completely different than their first encounter.
“It’s a completely different fight,” Dana stressed. “Obviously Conor McGregor is a much better fighter than he was when he first faced [Poirier], and Poirier is a much better fighter too. I don’t know how that plays out now in the fight, but it’s definitely interesting. You can’t look at the first fight and go, ‘Oh this is exactly the way that’s going to go again,’ because it won’t … Conor looks damn good, and Poirier’s always in shape. I expect this to be a good fight.”
Blachowicz vs Adesanya
Adesanya has stated that’s he’s confident he will challenge Blachowicz next for the light heavyweight title, ahead of Glover Teixeira. Dana was asked whether ‘The Last Stylebender’ is likely to get the nod ahead of the Brazilian, to which he responded with an affirmative.
“Yeah, I think that [Blachowicz and Adesanya] both like the idea. I love it,” Dana said.
Volkanovski vs Ortega
After beating ‘The Korean Zombie’ at UFC Fight Island 6, Ortega earned a second shot at the featherweight title. With Volkanovski and ‘T-City’ now fit and ready to go, Dana hinted that a fight between the two is in the works for February.
“Probably [February],” Dana said. “That’s a fun fight, too. I love that fight.”
Are you excited for what Dana White has in store for 2021?