Earlier today, the UFC 294 press conference unfolded in Abu Dhabi. It set the stage for what promises to be an electrifying event.
The main event combatants, Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski engaged in a spirited exchange of words. The co-main event, featuring Kamaru Usman and Khamzat Chimaev was marked by palpable tension.
At the presser, UFC CEO Dana White fielded questions about the event’s commercial potential. Specifically, Dana White was probed about whether the forthcoming pay-per-view extravaganza could outshine the much-anticipated bout between Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou scheduled for next week.
Ngannou had famously departed the UFC for the allure of a boxing showdown, leading to a highly publicised rift with the UFC.
Despite this well-documented feud, Dana White exhibited grace when addressing Francis Ngannou’s impending matchup. During the UFC 294 press conference, he expressed his belief that their event would surpass the boxing event between Fury vs Ngannou.
However, he did acknowledge his inherent bias.
When asked whether UFC 294 would outperform Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou, White stated: “I would certainly hope so. I would certainly hope so, yeah. Listen, let’s be honest, without smashing anybody here. These are the best fighters in the world in these weight classes, that’s what you want to see.”
White went on to say: “I mean, you want to see the best fight the best. These two right here [Makhachev and Volkanovski] and these two right here [Usman and Chimaev] are the best. I would say yes sir, but I’m pretty biased!”
Dana White recently talked about the UFC-USADA split. White was questioned about Tygart’s claim that the Conor McGregor incident had rendered the UFC-USADA partnership “untenable.”
In an interview with TheMACLife, he said: “I summed it up yesterday in one word. Scumbag. Listen, it is what it is. They did what they did and think about this, right. They’re in a business where they’re looking to bring other sports leagues in.”
“They were with us for eight years. We helped put them on the map. They helped us build an incredible program. This is how you’re going to end your relationship with us.”
“Who else would want to do business with these guys after that? Not me. It doesn’t matter to me. We’re moving on and good luck to them.”