Following the conclusion of UFC Fight Night: Dern vs Hill, UFC President Dana White spoke with the media regarding a wide variety of topics including a 'hopeful' return of Conor McGregor in 2023, the intricacies of booking a 'BMF Title' Fight, and some highly anticipated future matchups.
White kicked off the press conference by reading off the athletes who would be taking home performance bonuses following a fight night which saw half of the bouts end by finish, topped off by a "bad ass" main event.
“I’m so glad that’ the fight we moved to the main event here tonight,” White said, adding that Mackenzie Dern's impressive standup game showed a massive evolution since her last two main events, in addition to the ground improvement and heart of Angela Hill, which made their main event slot an "obvious fight of the night."
White confirmed that the highly-anticipated return of Conor McGregor to take on Michael Chandler is 'in the works,' and he remains 'hopeful' that the fight will take place sometime in 2023. Season 31 of The Ultimate Fighter is set to premier Tuesday, May 30th at 10pm ET/7pm PT on ESPN/ESPN+.
Coaching and training on The Ultimate Fighter, alongside my master team, with some great young fighters. Airing May 30th on @espn #TeamMcGregor— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 14, 2023
At the request of the media, White also discussed July's BMF title fight, Francis Ngannou, Aljamain Sterling vs Sean O'Malley, Kamaru Usman vs Khamzat Chimaev, the decision behind the upcoming matchups for middleweights Sean Strickland and Paulo Costa, and more.
The battle for the next BMF title will take place at UFC 291 in Salt Lake City when lightweight legends Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje face off in a five-round main event.
Aljamain Sterling, who is set to make his next title defense against Sean O'Malley at UFC 292 in Boston, stirred up question marks when he said he may not be ready to fight in August. White offered up $100 to the first media member who could correctly guess who called to step in for Sterling should it be necessary, a challenge which took almost no time before someone correclty guessed former two-division champion Henry Cejudo.
White addressed the idea of a bout between Kamaru Usman and Khamzat Chimaev, clarifying that he doesn't "like catchweight" and that the fight would have to take place either at welterweight or middleweight.
UFC Fight Night: Dern vs Hill took place live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 20, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!