Promotional president Dana White, one of those most responsible for the UFC’s explosion around the world, was the featured interviewee in Brazilian newspaper O Globo’s Sunday edition.
Dana didn’t release any further information regarding UFC Rio, nor did he reveal any major news, but he was inspired. Asked why MMA drew such audiences, for example, he gave the following response to reporters Ary Cunha and Luiz Filipe Barboza:
“I’m not quite sure. I do truly believe – even without proof – that fighting was the world’s first sport. Before man pushing a circle with a stick or throwing a ball into a circle, two men stood before each other on a surface, one threw a punch in the other’s face and other people came over to watch.”
Dana White also took the opportunity to galvanize Brazilian fans for UFC Rio.
“You like watching the UFC on TV? You find it exciting? Well then, wait till you see the show live. It’s the most exciting sporting event there is. Folks will explode with joy from the show we’re putting together for Rio,” he said.
(In exchange, the governors could reciprocate by taking White to see a game at the Maracanã, but unfortunately, it can’t be done. Our soccer stadium, poor thing, has been knocked out by repairs.
Check out the highlights from Dana White’s interview in “O Globo”:
“The truth is that MMA is a hard business to establish. And a lot of these guys started burning through money” (On the purchase of Strikeforce and other smaller organizations).
“When you think American football, you think the NFL (. . .) The UFC is just the most important league in the sport of MMA.”
“Yes, we plan to take the TUF reality show not just to Brazil, but to several countries around the world. But I don’t think it will be this year. We’re doing an edition in the Philippines and perhaps in 2012 it can be Brazil”
“I love most of these guys (UFC fighters). Better still, I love all these guys. They fight for us, but I can also tell you that the UFC knows how to take care of them.”
“These days you see a lot of fighters cropping up in Canada, Europe, Australia, but even so the best of them come from Brazil.”
“I have to admit, Anderson Silva is the most talented fighter in the world.”
“The UFC brand is so big and there’s so much going on that every day, when I get out of bed, something is going wrong somewhere. And I have to deal with it.”
“This sport crosses borders with great ease. It doesn’t matter the color, the country, the language. . . In the end we’re all human and fighting is in our DNA.”