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Dana White Talks Silva-Diaz and More in Bangor

BANGOR, MAINE (August 15) -- Back from vacation and right back to work, UFC president Dana White met with the media after the UFC Fight Night Bangor weigh-ins, first to receive a proclamation from Bangor mayor Benjamin Sprague which made him an honorary citizen for life in his childhood home, and then to touch on some recent topics in the news.

First up was the recently announced Jan. 31 Superfight between Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz, a fight White can’t wait to see on Super Bowl weekend.

“I’m pretty pumped for that fight,” he said. “Anderson, I can’t wait until he comes back. He’s one of my favorite fighters, and you know Nick Diaz. That’s the fight Nick wanted, that’s the fight the fans wanted to see, so we did it.”

As for Diaz’ insistence on a recent media teleconference that he doesn’t enjoy fighting, White isn’t bothered by such comments.

“He’s Nick Diaz,” White said. “There are a lot of things he says that make him Nick. I believe that he doesn’t enjoy fighting. Everything that this guy says is why he is who he is – the way that he fights, his demeanor - it all makes him Nick Diaz. A lot of people don’t like going to work but you gotta do what you gotta do. That’s how he makes a living, and not everybody loves what they do.”

White doesn’t fall into this category, and it was evident when talking about the ladies of mixed martial arts. It’s a far cry from the days when he said women would never fight in the UFC, but with Ronda Rousey and company making their move in the Octagon, it’s been one milestone after another. The next one? The Ultimate Fighter 20, which premieres in September with an all-female cast of strawweights (115 pounds).

“I’m so sold on women fighting,” White said. “Years ago, this whole thing started and look at how much it’s evolved. I look at somebody like Ronda Rousey and she’s so empowering to women and to little girls. I was at dinner last night with the whole cast of The Ultimate Fighter 20 and I was telling them that this table could get up and clean out this casino right now. (Laughs) And these girls are 115 pounds.

“This season of The Ultimate Fighter is unbelievable,” White continued. “I’m so happy that I made the choice. I’m really, really excited and proud of this season, and the best decision I ever made was to bring women in.”

So what should fans expect this season, which just finished taping in Las Vegas? 

“Technically unbelievable,” White said. “We had two fights yesterday and both fights were unbelievable. Great fights, really technical. These girls are nasty. I can’t tell you how pumped I am. It’s really fun. There are a few girls on this season that remind me of Ronda. They have that killer instinct.”
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