While it may seem like a tall order, self-proclaimed “fight geek” Dana White is happy to hand out five UFC contracts each week on the Contender Series.
Las Vegas, NV — Following a big night at week three of this year’s Contender Series, everyone was in a good mood. And we mean everyone. After all, all five winning fighters on the show were awarded UFC contracts. So welcome to the UFC, Joe Solecki, Antonio Trocoli, James Pearce, Hunter Azure, and Maki Pitolo. All of whom were excited with the result. But perhaps no one was more excited than self-described fight geek Dana White.
The UFC President was in good spirits following the show. “At the end of the day, me, [the matchmakers], you, we’re all fight geeks, that’s what we are. And when you see a night like tonight, it fires me up, I get excited,” he told reporters including Cageside Press following what was arguably the biggest night in the show’s history. “And every one of these kids did what was expected of them to come in and get a UFC contract.”
With contracts being handed out to both finishers and non-finishers alike, there’s a question as to what White is looking for. The UFC President, however, feels it should be obvious by now. “They say it at the beginning, it’s a little corny and whatever, but it’s the truth. This is the hardest job interview ever. You know what you’re here to do. I’ve been doing this twenty years, you know what I’m looking for.”
“If you don’t know what I’m looking for by now— I’m not looking for guys that come over here and try to win the opportunity to get into the UFC to play it safe to win,” he continued. “You gotta decide whether you want to do that the rest of your career. But you don’t do it here. That’s not what this is about. That’s not what I’m looking for.”
No one, however, played it safe on this particular Tuesday. And so five fighters were awarded UFC deals. Not a pace you would expect White to be able to keep up, but you’d be wrong.
“Listen, I’ll give out five deals every week for as long as this thing goes on if they deserve it,” White exclaimed. “If you deserve it, you’re going to get a contract. I’m not going ‘well this guy deserves it but I don’t want to give out three contracts this week.’ I’m going to give it to whoever deserves.”
After all, in the UFC, “we’re not doing fewer fights. Fewer people aren’t getting injured every month. We’ll make it work.” Then there are the hard calls. “You have to make tough decisions, because guess what? If I bring in 15, 15 gotta go. That’s how it works.”
As for a favorite performance from the night, White had a hard time picking just one. “I love them all, that’s why I signed them all.”
For more from UFC President Dana White following Dana White’s Contender Series 2019 Week 3, watch the full post-fight press scrum above!