Dana White Says Shevchenko Makes More Sense Than Cyborg for Nunes

Las Vegas, NV — The difference in the demeanor of UFC President Dana White between week one and week two of this year’s Contender Series was night and day.

After White’s “be Joe Pyfer” speech last week, with Pyfer the only man awarded a contract in an otherwise dull night, four of five fights finished early this Tuesday — and the one that went the distance was certainly no slouch.

All five winners picked up UFC contracts, and the show trended worldwide, as well as in multiple individual markets including the U.S., Canada, and elsewhere.

“We’re in our sixth season, trending worldwide for the first time ever,” White exclaimed following the most recent installment of the Contender Series, listing off the varying positions the show hit Tuesday night. “Think about the fights that have happened with the guys we’ve had— we’ve never trended with the Contender Series until tonight.”

“This is what the show is all about. When I came up with the concept, this is what the concept was supposed to be. Not last weekend.”

In a roundabout way, last week’s stinker may have sparked interest in this week’s show.

“I think it had a lot to do with last week, and how bad last week was,” White suggested. “I don’t know if you guys noticed at the fight, but Joe Pyfer was taking pictures and signing autographs. People knew who Joe Pyfer was in Dallas, Texas at the fights [UFC 277] this weekend. I think last week was so shockingly, unbelievably bad that people were interested to see what was going to happen this week.”

Even the losing fighters from Tuesday night had White’s respect and praise following the event.

“Those kids that fought tonight are right there. None of them should be disgusted with their performance or upset,” White stated. “They’re right there. Those guys get a couple wins, they’ll probably get the call. I know Mick [Maynard] and Sean [Shelby, UFC matchmakers] loved [Shannon] Ross.”

White also addressed the idea of Cris Cyborg returning to the UFC for a rematch with Amanda Nunes, who dethroned the then-featherweight champ in 2018. After Nunes’ defeat of Julianna Pena this past weekend, two names have been put forth frequently by fans — Valentina Shevchenko, and Cyborg.

Cyborg is not currently with the UFC, but it is believed she’ll be a free agent in the near future. That said, White is no fan of Nunes vs. Cyborg 2.

“I mean Amanda absolutely dominated Cyborg. The Shevchenko fight makes way more sense,” he told Cageside Press on Tuesday. “And I’m not just sh*tting on Cyborg because we’ve had history.”

In fact, revealed White, he might actually be on better terms with the Brazilian star these days.

“To be honest with you, I usually don’t talk about this sh*t publicly, you know what I always say, I don’t tell you guys anything— but she [Cyborg] actually texted me and wished me a happy birthday, for my birthday. It’s not like Cyborg and I hate each other and I’m not trying to discredit her or be mean to her — I wish her the best in whatever she’s doing. It was nice of her to send me a birthday text. So I just wanted to reiterate that I am not sh*tting on Cyborg.”

Watch the full Dana White’s Contender Series 48 post-fight scrum with UFC President Dana White above.