Tons Of Post UFC-116 News: Dana, Leben, Bonnar & Lots More

  • Although it has not been officially announced, Dana White said recently that the UFC is opening an office in China.

    "(The office opens) within the next few weeks," he said. "I'm telling you, in the 10 years that you guys have known me, have I ever said (something) that I didn't at least try to make happen? When we say we're going to do something, we do it. We don't just go, 'Oh, yeah, we're going to go to China,' and then we just kick around for six months. If I say we're going to China, we're going to [expletive] China."


    The UFC's Chinese website was launched over the weekend, and the head of the division has already been hired. The office is ready to open "immediately," White says. Once that happens, "we go to India then we work on South Korea."

    Expansion into China is expected to start with a Chinese version of The Ultimate Fighter. White eventually wants the UFC to have a global footprint, but he is still piecing together what that will look like.

    "We could have a show [in the U.S.] on Saturday night and five more going on in five other countries," he said. "That's what's going to eventually happen. It's figuring this thing out, putting the pieces together, and like I said, it's a work in progress. But I'm telling you guys, I said it years ago, and I've been saying it ? how big this thing is going to be.


    "I think people are now really starting to realize how big this thing is really going to be."

  • After his UFC 116 win over Krzysztof Soszynski – a win which he called "better than sex" – Stephan Bonnar spoke about the fight that could easily have resulted in another loss.

    During the first round Bonnar was tagged with several heavy shots, and due to all the scar tissue on his face he was soon opened up.

    "The first cut, I was like, 'Eh, probably no big deal,'" Bonnar said. "The second, I was like, 'Oh, damn. Looks like I'm bleeding out of another one.' They kept adding up. It got me worried, but the plan was to really make it a dogfight and push the pace. You know me; when I bleed, it tends to bring the best out of me."

    The victory earned both men a $75,000 Fight of the Night bonus, but Bonnar was quick to point out that he was not alone in there.

    "I've got to give Krzysztof some credit," Bonnar said. "He put a good fight on. I don't remember when it was, but he hit me so hard my head went back, and I saw the lights. When I tried to refocus, I couldn't see anything for a good 45 seconds. (In) the 'Rocky' movie, they say, 'Oh, I'm seeing three of him.' That's what I was thinking. 'Should I see three of him? I can't see [expletive].' I just put my hands up."

    The win halted a three-fight losing streak for Bonnar, and a fourth straight defeat would have put him in danger of being cut. Dana White, who previously said that Bonnar would have a job for life, spoke about that possibility.


    "If he lost tonight, he probably would have been looking at (being cut)," White said. "Honestly, I couldn't answer that question. Yeah, he's been on a skid, and he was losing, but if a guy comes out and puts on a great performance and has a tough fight, you never know. It depends. It was hard to cut Keith Jardine. I like Keith Jardine very much, and I have respect for him. We've seen him have great fights many times. It was a hard decision.

    "To be honest with you, I was getting worried about Stephan Bonnar that he was getting soft because he knew Uncle Dana would always take care of him."

    As for Bonnar? "I'm on cloud nine right now," he said. "I'm as high as you can get. ... You have no idea the feeling. Just to get a win, it means the world to me. I'm really happy. This is better than sex."

  • Did Josh Rosenthal let last night's title fight between Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin at UFC 116 go on too long?

    Stats from say that Carwin landed 57 punches in the first round, with 47 of them being on the ground. Rosenthal appeared on the verge of stopping the fight a few times, but let things carry on. Carwin, though, is not complaining.

    "I felt Brock go out a few times," he said. "But it is the ref's job to call the fight, and mine is to finish the fight."

    Lesnar was understandably also in support of the decision. Having taken a stiff uppercut that dazed him and with blood coming out of his face, Brock survived the round and managed to apply the submission in the second.


    "[Rosenthal] did come to me before the fight and said to me, 'Heaven forbid, if the fight gets ugly and somebody's getting in a bad situation, you have to show me something that you're still staying alive down there,'" Lesnar said. "That just kept going through my mind. 'I've got to keep moving.' I could feel Shane. Every punch was less and less and less and less. I knew that the worst was done.

    "I really have to thank the referee for allowing that thing go on."

    Dana White, who is never shy about criticizing referees or anyone else he deems deserving, also said that Rosenthal did well.

    "When the fight was first starting, I looked at (UFC CEO) Lorenzo (Feritta), and you guys know how critical I am about this stuff," White said. "I said, 'How the hell did Josh Rosenthal get this fight?'

    "Listen, I don't know Herb Dean. I've probably said five words to Herb Dean in my entire life. I just think that Herb Dean is the greatest ref in the history of the world. When guys are in there, I wish Herb was in every fight. But I want to say Josh Rosenthal did a fantastic job, and I apologize for badmouthing him before he did nothing wrong."

  • After 2 fights in two weeks, as well as two wins and two bonus checks, Chris Leben was understandably a little out of it by the end of his most recent bout with Yoshihiro Akiyama. Dana White said of the fight "Chris Leben was literally knocked out standing straight up. I've only seen that a couple of times. Usually when that happens, the guy has to go down. He was knocked out standing up, and in typical Chris Leben fashion, all of a sudden you just saw him snap out of it and start hammering away. He is so fun to watch fight." Leben had more to say, the highlights of which are below:

    On his condition after the fight: "Afterward I was talking to my coaches, and I was like, 'So what was that, like the end of the second round?' He must have caught me in there because normally I remember fights like in slow-motion. I don't even remember the whole thing. I'm going to have to watch the tape."


    On Akiyama's style: "It's just completely different. His throws really threw me for a loop. It wasn't a wrestling-type double- or single-leg. He really tied me up and he tripped me well. I rarely get taken down in the gym. I'm used to having world-class wrestlers shoot on me, and I can stuff them. His judo was more than I expected. I'm like, 'No judo guy can throw me. I'm not wearing a gi, and I'll punch him in his face.' Obviously, that wasn't the case."

    On all the missed armbar attempts he had: "I do think a lot when I'm fighting, believe it or not. When I went for the armbar, after that I was like, 'He's letting me walk my legs up and leave them up there. This guy's going to let me triangle him.' That's when I decided I was going to go for the submission as opposed to just working to stand up. I heard my corner ? sorry guys, I love you ? they were yelling, 'Stand up, stand up, stand up,' but I knew that submission was there because he was letting me set it up."

    On having 2 wins in 2 weeks: "It's so overwhelming. We train our whole lives. I laid in bed [Friday] night and cried because I want to win so bad. I don't want to let my coaches and my corner down so much. Everyone has put so much into me. The emotion afterward is mind-boggling. I can't explain it. There's nothing like winning a fight in the UFC. There's nothing like it in the world, period. ... It's been a long road, a somewhat bumpy one for me. This is huge. My career and my life are in better places right now than they've ever been."

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