Dana White: Daley-Swick Possible; ‘Rampage’ Out Past February

By Loretta Hunt Sep 20, 2009
Paul Daley’s first-round thrashing of Martin Kampmann at UFC 103 Saturday put a damper on the promotion’s plans to match the Dane up with Mike Swick in a No. 1 contender’s bout for the welterweight title.

However, UFC President Dana White agreed the Brit’s impressive debut performance could have landed him a shot against Swick next.

“Could be,” said White. “This kid put himself on the map tonight. I love guys that step up on short notice because it’s an opportunity. He took the opportunity and made it happen.”

Swick fell and suffered a concussion in training 15 days before the Kampmann bout, forcing his withdrawal from the contest. White had previously announced that the winner of Kampmann-Swick would get the opportunity to face champion Georges St. Pierre next.

Sitting cageside Saturday, Swick smiled and shook his head after watching Daley’s handiwork firsthand.

The potential bout, which would again pair two hungry strikers, could be a viable addition to one of the promotion’s end-of-the-year cards, if there is space for it.

“The good thing is we have time,” said White. “GSP isn’t going to be ready until February.”

Meanwhile, White said he’s mended fences enough with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson to begin discussing the moonlighting fighter’s return to the Octagon to face fellow “Ultimate Fighter 10” coach Rashad Evans.

The bad news is that White said Jackson’s commitments starring as “B.A. Baracus” in “The A-Team” remake, currently shooting in Vancouver, will keep him away from the cage into the new year.

“(The movie) was supposed to be done right around December and now he’s saying they’re doing make-up dates and things like that, so he couldn’t even fight in February,” said White.

White has been critical of Jackson’s decision to take the role since it was first rumored back in August.

“Rampage is an active fighter that took that spot on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ and he can say he did it for me or whatever, but there was a commitment to fight there at the end of the show,” said White. “He could have fought that fight and then went and did seven movies for all I cared… he was obligated to take that fight.”

White was also skeptical that Jackson’s choice would prove as fruitful as what his “Hollywood agents” have promised him.

“They’ve got him thinking –- you know, he’s going to make this movie for nothing and then the sequel, they’ll make 20 million dollars,” said White.

In other notes:

Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic refused a request to visit the local hospital, said White, after the former Pride champion verbally submitted in the third round to a progressive beating at the hands of Junior dos Santos. White said he insisted, though.

“I made him go to the hospital, because if he’s going to fly 20 hours on a plane, I want to know that he’s okay,” said White.

Chuck Liddell will have a friendly face in the audience in White when he makes his debut on ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” on Monday in Los Angeles. White said he and Liddell would discuss the fighter’s UFC future after his stint on the popular series is completed.

• Welterweight Josh Koscheck, fresh off his first-round dismantling of Frank Trigg, said he told UFC matchmaker Joe Silva he’d be ready to step up at UFC 104 (Oct. 24) or at one of their two events in November if any opening presents itself. UFC 105 takes place Nov. 14 in Manchester, England, while UFC 106 will be held Nov. 21 in Las Vegas.

Rich Franklin plans to return to the 205-pound division. Attributing Franklin as one of the fighters who helped build the company, White said Franklin would always be welcome in the promotion.

• Undercard entry Steve Lopez dislocated his shoulder mid-punch during his lightweight bout with Jim Miller. White said Lopez’ shoulder was popped back into place shortly after without the fighter having to go to the hospital.

• White said the UFC’s decision to forgo returning to hold an event in conjunction the Arnold Sports Festival and Fitness Expo next March in Columbus, Ohio, was based on the promotion wanting “to try somewhere new.” The UFC has held events there for the last three years.

• White again squashed rumors that the WEC and its lighter divisions would be folded into the UFC in the near future.

“We’ve talked about doing a lot of things with the WEC and the lighter weight classes, but we have a new deal right now with Versus,” said White. “We’re going to do whatever we think makes the most sense for the business. But right now, we have a deal with Versus and the WEC goes on.”
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