I was not able to attend UFC 82 live, however, thanks to “Mr. Sunshine” Steve Cofield, who recorded the audio, I was able to listen to the post-fight press conference online. I highly recommend you go to Cofield’s blog and listen to all the post-fight audio he accumulated while doing his post-show wrap on ESPN 920 in Las Vegas.
Here are the notable comments from the post-fight press conference:
- The official attendance for the event was 16,431 for a live gate of $2.2 million. UFC President Dana White said he loves having fights in Columbus.
- White awarded $120,000 in bonuses to unified middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Silva and former PRIDE welterweight champion Dan Henderson received the bonus for “Fight of the Night” and then Silva also received the award for “Submission of the Night.” The bonus money Silva received is in addition to his guarantee and his win bonus. White awarded the $60,000 “Knockout of the Night” bonus to Chris Leben for his first round TKO over Alessio Sakara.
- Henderson was not at the post-fight press conference. White indicated that he felt the main event “delivered.” In regards to Henderson, White later added that he feels he belongs at 185 pounds.
- White revealed that the UFC officially offered UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture a fight with UFC interim heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira but that Couture has yet to respond. A reported pointed out that they already offered Couture the fight but White said that they hadn’t offered it to him since Nogueira won the interim title. Again, White said he feels Couture should honor his contract and fight Nogueira because he believes he owes Nogueira the opportunity to fight him because Tim Sylvia gave Couture the same opportunity a year ago.
- A big theme during the press conference was White’s stumping for Silva to be recognized by pundits as the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He stated at one point that anyone who believes otherwise is “out of their mind.” Later in the press conference he went after the Internet media in regards to Silva, referring to them as “knucklehead websites.” Later on he said that he feels that the reason more sites don’t recognize Silva as the pound-for-pound number and rank Fedor in that spot is out of their hatred for him. He said, “You’re a clown if you rank Fedor number one.” He did not name a website in particular.
While the comment was directed at any of the sites I am involved with, I’d like to entertain the comment. While I don’t take what White says personally, I simply don’t agree that Silva is the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. I have him number two, behind Georges St. Pierre. Silva is the better striker, has better submissions off his back, and is more consistent from fight-to-fight. However, St. Pierre’s striking is world class, his submissions from the top are better, and he’s the far better wrestler. Physically, I can find no weakness in GSP’s game. I do feel Silva still has a few, minor flaws to work out.
Also, I’d like to go on the record and state that I don’t hate Dana. In fact, I like the guy in many respects. While he will no longer grant me interviews because of my affiliation with ProElite.com, he was a true gentleman in all of my dealings with him prior. I have a lot of respect for what he’s done for this sport and thing he does a lot of things right. However, I do not feel he’s perfect and I’m not afraid to say when I think he’s wrong. My ranking of GSP over Silva is based on my sincere opinion and not personal politics. Again, I’m not taking White’s comments personally, I just felt some people might be interested in my comments. Besides, I don’t have Fedor ranked number one, so in his eyes I must not be a clown? Okay, I wouldn’t bet on that.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE REMAINDER OF THIS ARTICLE, INCLUDING NOTES ON WHAT’S NEXT FOR ANDERSON SILVA; WHETHER JOSH KOSCHECK IS A FREE AGENT; IF JON FITCH WILL RECEIVE A WELTERWEIGHT TITLE SHOT; AND MUCH MORE!