Las Vegas, NV — UFC President Dana White had high praise for the main event of Saturday’s UFC Vegas 46 following the show.
“First fight of the year, and a Fight of the Year candidate already. That’s the way to start it, that’s the way to start the year,” White exclaimed following the event, which was capped off by a five-round war between Calvin Kattar and Giga Chikadze. In the end, Katter won — but both men were transported to hospital for precautionary reasons.
“It’s incredible. I was saying, it’s almost like everybody forgot about Calvin Kattar and Max Holloway, you know what I mean? A lot of people were counting him [Kattar] out tonight, and he looked unbelievable,” added White. “I thought that spinning elbow he landed definitely changed the fight. I think the wrestling match in the first round tired them both out, and they just dug in and went to war.”
For White, it’s now on to the next one — a much bigger card, with UFC 270 landing at the Honda Center in Anahaeim, California next Saturday. Topping the first PPV of 2022 is a heavyweight title unification bout, between champion Francis Ngannou and interim title holder Ciryl Gane. Talk before the fight, however, has mainly centered on the status of Ngannou’s contract.’
The UFC heavyweight champion has stated that he’ll sit out past the Gane fight if an acceptable deal can’t be reached — one that would include a potentially massive crossover boxing match with Tyson Fury.
“Listen, it’s not like we haven’t been in this position before,” White replied when asked if he thought a deal could be reached prior to the bout. “This happens sometimes, and we’ll see how it plays out. It doesn’t matter. He’s going to fight on Saturday, and whatever is going to happen is going to happen.”
White isn’t surprised in the least to see Fury calling for a fight with the mixed martial artist either. “No, listen man, these guys, none of this surprises me. These boxing guys need guys to fight, that’s what it shows. It doesn’t surprise me at all.”
The fight between Ngannou and Gane, however, is one White called “one of the biggest ever. I was just saying to somebody else backstage, Vince [McMahon] couldn’t write a better script than this one. These two guys came out of the same camp, they’ve actually trained together, now they don’t like each other, and all the animosity between them. Plus, you’ve got a guy with one punch, I mean vicious one-punch knockout power against a guy who is probably stylistically the best striker in the heavyweight division. You couldn’t have a better story line, you couldn’t have a better stylistic match-up.”
Watch the full press scrum with Dana White following UFC Vegas 46 above. More coverage can be found below.