This Saturday night at UFC 211 in Dallas, heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic looks to avenge his last defeat, a December 2014 unanimous decision loss to Brazilian Junior dos Santos.
UFC President Dana White said Thursday on The Jim Rome Show that he expects a completely different Miocic to stand up and exchange more against the former heavyweight champion dos Santos, instead of trying to take the fight to the mat like he did in their last bout.
“Junior dos Santos is an incredibly well-rounded fighter, tough guy, knockout power, and I think this time Stipe doesn’t go for the takedown. He knows Junior has incredible takedown defense,” White said of Miocic’ s 17-of-18 failed takedowns in their last fight. “But Stipe’s hands are better than they used to be. I think he’s faster. You saw it in all these other heavyweights that he’s faced, and I think he just comes in and tries to knock out Junior dos Santos.”
White also talked about former middleweight champion Anderson Silva’s Instagram rant about threatening to retire if he doesn’t get another title shot after his UFC 212 opponent Kelvin Gastelum was pulled from their fight over a failed marijuana test.
“Anderson Silva has been one of those guys that’s been unique to deal with, never at this level,” White said. “I didn’t make Kelvin Gastelmum test positive for marijuana and pull out of the fight, and we tried to make other fights and get other opponents for him. You can’t demand a title fight or I’m going to retire, especially when you know my philosophy is this, if you even mention the word retirement, you should probably retire. I know he’s not thrilled and happy with me, he and I need to sit down and do a face to face.”
White also talked about the potential boxing match between his superstar Conor McGregor and boxer Floyd Mayweather, and said the hold up has been on their own side.
“This has nothing to do with Mayweather’s side. This is on our side. Conor just had a baby, and anybody who has kids knows how that is, leading up to that and the aftermath, a few days after having a baby,” White said. “I plan on having this thing locked up by this Sunday, and then moving on to Team Mayweather and starting to negotiate with them.
“So if we really do get it done in that time frame, then this thing could possibly happen, but again, I still need to go and negotiate with them. There’s no guarantee that we’re going to come to a deal.”
When asked to clarify if Sunday was the hard deadline to get a deal done with Conor or he was moving on, White was blunt, “Yep, absolutely.”
As for the chances the UFC and McGregor can work out a deal that would allow him to box Mayweather, White again didn’t hesitate.
“I think they’re pretty good,” White said. “Hopefully Monday I’m going to sit down and negotiate with Team Mayweather.”