Tonight’s UFC 171 delivered an exciting night of action from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, culminating in a five round title-clinching defeat of Robbie Lawler from newly minted UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks. Not surprisingly, UFC President Dana White was on hand after the card to speak with FOX Sports, expressing his excitement at the back-and-forth slugfest:
“Yeah, it’s one of the greatest fights. I mean, these guys just stood in the pocket all night. I’ve been saying leading up to this fight it was gonna be a gunfight, and it was. They stood in there, they traded; how Johny Hendricks got out of that third round, I’ll never know. I had it 2-2 going into the last round. In the fifth round, it was Robbie Lawler’s fight to lose. This is one of those fights I always say, there is no loser in this fight.”
The president also went on to discuss Tyron Woodley’s injury TKO win over Carlos Condit, of course being noncommittal as to who would get the next 170-pound title shot. There’s certainly a frontrunner in terms of self-promotion for the bout, none other than former title challenger Nick Diaz, who continues to call out for a shot at Hendricks. White addressed his controversial but popular bad boy:
“Nick was there heckling Hendricks the entire fight, you know, he’s trying to get a title shot. I have no idea. I haven’t talked to him about fighting.”
He may not have talked to Diaz yet, but Nick already said he wants to come back to the UFC this year. While he may only accept a title shot, any bout featuring Diaz would probably be a huge draw, so the Stockton native’s return should only be a matter of time.
An awaited return of a different kind was also discussed, that of former champ Georges St. Pierre, whom White said he knew “for a fact” would be returning to the Octagon after vacating his long-held belt last year. He clarified why he feels so strongly that he will:
“Well, this whole thing got blown out of proportion. When we talked to him, he said, I'm going to take some time off, I have to deal with some personal problems.’ I know the reason why he left. He’s got personal problems, and once he gets them handled, he will be back. He never said he was retiring.”
It’s also only a matter of time of time before White & Co. come up with Hendricks’ next challenger in the stacked UFC welterweight division:
“You know, we’ll go back home, we’ll start kicking around, we’ll figure something out this week.”
Dana White has weighed in with his thoughts about UFC 171. What are yours?