UFC: Dana White Talks McGregor vs Poirier, Adesanya, Chimaev And TUF
Ten months on from when they were originally scheduled to meet inside the Octagon, ‘The Korean Zombie’ and Brian Ortega finally get to face off this weekend in the UFC Fight Island 6 main event. Ahead of the number one contender fight in the stacked UFC featherweight division, UFC president Dana White spoke to the media, where he addressed a whole host of recent hot topics, including Israel Adesanya’s next fight, Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier 2, finding Khamzat Chimaev an opponent, and the next season of The Ultimate Fighter.
What’s Next For Israel Adesanya
Since defending his middleweight title against Paulo Costa at UFC 253, Adesanya has been going back-and-forth with Jon Jones on social media. When asked about if that’s the fight to make for the 185lbs champion next, Dana said it’s ‘definitely’ an option. Although he sees his next fight coming against the winner of Jared Cannonier and Robert Whittaker, who face off in the UFC 254 co-main event next weekend.
“That’s a fight we could definitely make,” Dana said. “But I truly think that the winner of Cannonier and Whittaker should get the next shot. He said he would fight Cannonier. He already beat Whittaker. Whittaker, if he wins, makes a lot of sense too. It’s a great problem to have. The winner of this fight should absolutely get the shot. You could look at the [Jan] Blachowicz fight and say, ‘Oh, that’s fun, too.’ Jon Jones is fun. He’s got a lot of options.”
Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier 2
Earlier this week, McGregor and Poirier agreed to rematch on January 23rd. When the Irishman took to social media to publicly accept, he suggested that the fight should take place at the Dallas Cowboys stadium in Texas. Dana isn’t keen on the idea however. Not while there are restrictions due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“He said ‘Yes’ and Dustin said ‘Yes,’ so now it’s a matter of getting contracts signed,” Dana stated. “Listen, we’ve had a very good relationship with [Jerry] Jones for a long time and talked about Dallas, Texas, stadium forever.
“I’m not going into any arena where we’re going to fill a quarter of the arena or half of the arena or any of that stuff, so when crowds are ready to come back we’ll do crowds again.”
Meanwhile, McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh has stated that the rematch will be at welterweight.
Mike Perry’s Auction
Mike Perry has been making headlines again recently, after he took to social media to offer a place in his corner for his upcoming fight with Robbie Lawler at UFC 255, to whoever offers him the most money. Dana however, had a very simple response when he was asked about this.
“You can’t do that.”
One of the biggest hot topics in the UFC right now is who will face Khamzat Chimaev next. Dana previously stated that he is looking for an opponent to face the Russian Swede in the main event on December 19th. As for now though, he’s still without a confirmed opponent.
“We will, we’re working on it. He’s been a hard guy to get an opponent for. We’re all over it. I was hoping it would be done yesterday or today but it’s not. We’ll get it done.”
Neil Magny has previously stated that he wants to fight Chimaev. And last night, former middleweight champion Chris Weidman said he was down to fight ‘Borz’, but not until January. But according to Dana, the 26 year old could fight in December and January.
“Chris Weidman is one of the guys we were talking to. [Chimaev] wants to fight in [December], but you know him. If we can get him a fight in December, he’ll probably fight that and fight in January too. Which will piss everyone off again.
The Ultimate Fighter
It’s been two years since the last season of TUF, but Dana confirmed that filming of the 29th season will begin “when I get home [from Fight Island]”. Although a decision on who will be the two coaches is yet to be decided.
“Not yet, we don’t have anybody yet,” Dana said. “We’ll let this thing plays out. I mean there’s been times where we’ve had the coaches days before we were getting ready to film.”
Dana White also confirmed that the promotion is working on a heavyweight clash between Ciryl Gane and Junior dos Santos, and that they are looking to rebook Zabit Magomedsharipov vs Yair Rodriguez. The featherweight matchup has fallen through twice in the past.