UFC: Dana White Talks Tyson vs Jones Jr, Khabib And Michael Chandler
UFC Vegas 15 went down on Saturday night at the APEX Center. In the main event, Anthony Smith defeated Devin Clark via first round submission. Originally, Curtis Blaydes and Derrick Lewis were scheduled to grace the main event, but the bout was scrapped after ‘Razor’ tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday.
While the UFC Vegas 15 main card was going on, Dana White’s good friend Mike Tyson returned to the ring for the first time in 15 years against Roy Jones Jr.. During the post fight press conference, the UFC president was asked about the boxing spectacle, as well as his own event and UFC topics.
Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr.
The highly-anticipated boxing bout between legends Tyson and Jones Jr. ended in a draw, with the three judges scoring the contest 79-73 for Tyson, 80-76 for Jones, and 76-76. But Dana believes ‘Iron’ Mike won the fight, saying that he was blown away by his performance.
“Listen, Tyson won the fight,” Dana said. “Listen man, you guys had been asking me questions in the lead up to this fight and I didn’t wanna say anything negative because I love Tyson, and he is a good friend of mine. I was nervous. He is 56 years old (he’s actually 54). Time is undefeated, and time takes us all down. I was worried about him because fighting is a young man’s game. With all that being said, he looked f***ing awesome. I was blown away by how good he looked. Roy is 51 years old and has been more active, but he look more tired today. I am happy for him and I hope both of them made a f***ing zillion dollars. And yeah, it exceeded my expectations. It was actually a pretty entertaining fight, and he looked really good.”
UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement last month after successfully defending his title against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. But Dana remains confident ‘The Eagle’ will return. The two are expected to meet in the future, and while the UFC boss revealed the place of their meeting, he remained tight-lipped about everything else.
“I do [believe Khabib will return for 30-0]. He has not said that to me, but I do,” Dana insisted. “We’re gonna meet in Abu Dhabi, sometime soon. I’ll let you know when you need to know.”
It was reported this weekend that Khabib has purchased the MMA promotion Gorilla Fighting Championship for $1 million. Apparently, the undefeated 32 year old plans to rename it Eagle Fighting Championship.
Michael Chandler signed with the UFC in September, but is yet to make his debut. He served as the backup for the title fight between Khabib and Gaethje at UFC 254. Because he cut weight for the event, Dana said the former Bellator champion needs time to recover, but once he gives the UFC the green light, the promotion will book him a fight.
“The problem with Michael Chandler is that he stepped in for that fight [at UFC 254 as a backup] and cut weight,” Dana said. “He can’t turnaround as fast as these other guys can right now. We can’t do that to him. So no hurry, he should take his time, and get his body back together. We will get him something soon. Once we go back to Abu Dhabi [in 2021], there will be a lot of big fights and we will get him something.”
UFC featherweight Yair Rodriguez has not fought since October 2019. The 26 year old was booked to fight Zabit Magomedsharipov in August, but was forced to pull out due to injury. Dana believes we won’t be seeing ‘El Pantera’ anytime soon. Although mysteriously, he said it wasn’t down to an injury.
“I don’t think he is going to fight soon,” Dana said. “I don’t know why we didn’t announce it. I don’t know what’s going on there [on Rodriguez’s side]. It’s none of my business. When it comes out, it will come out. When they figure it out, they will let us know.”