UFC President Dana White is about to promote his first fight card on his old stomping grounds of Boston, Massachusetts. White is bringing the UFC 118 card to the TD Garden this weekend and is excited for more than just the fights this time around. White spoke with Fighters Only magazine recently and discussed what it means for him to be taking the UFC to Boston and also how he feels about the match ups on the card.
“Obviously it’s a big one for me, I am excited to be going to Boston and to be putting an event on here,” said White. “There is so much history in the Boston Garden, to be doing our first event in Boston in the Boston Garden is huge for me. I think we have built a great card, there are so many fights that I am excited for on this card.”
Of those fights is a lightweight title fight rematch between current champion Frankie Edgar and former champion BJ Penn. Edgar barely squeaked out a decision when they last met at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi and will be looking to prove that the first win was legitimate; Penn, on the other hand, will be looking to avenge a loss and prove that the mantle of “Best Lightweight in the World” belongs to him. White doesn’t go so far as to pick a favorite but he does give much of his respect to Frankie Edgar.
“BJ is probably gonna be a little more motivated for this fight but Frankie Edgar is a bad motherfucker, I have so much respect for this guy,” White said. “He honestly doesn’t belong in that weight class but he proved that he does, you know what I mean? Physically he is too small for that weight class but in heart he is a heavyweight,”
It was leaked recently that both Edgar and Penn were unwell heading into their UFC 112 bout, that Edgar suffered a staph infection and Penn a sinus infection. White had not heard those rumors but believes they indicate an even better rematch if they are true.
“No, but if that is true and they were both sick going into Abu Dhabi then this rematch should be an amazing fight,” White said.
Also on the card is a heavyweight bout between boxing champion James “Lights Out” Toney and UFC Hall of Famer Randy “The Natural” Couture. White has mentioned on more than one occasion that he sees this bout as a freak show and that he has stacked the card around it in case the fight ends too quickly one way or the other. The brash UFC figurehead reiterated those statements in his conversation with Fighters Only.
“This James Toney and Randy Couture fight, a lot of people are clearly interested in this and the closer it gets the more people are getting interested,” he said. “But if this thing goes a minute either way – Couture double-legs him, puts him on the fence and smashes him or Toney catches him and clips him – I have built a great card around that fight, everyone is gonna get their money’s worth.”
UFC 118 goes down this Saturday night at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The event will air live on pay-per-view with two of the preliminary card bouts being featured on Spike TV.