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Dana White defends Jake Shields, plans UFC show in Afghanistan

UFC president answers any and all questions regarding MMA

Fireside Chat with Dana White: WEC 48

In this special WEC-installment of the Fireside Chat, UFC President Dana White discusses a possible UFC-WEC merger, Faber's good looks and more.

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Dana White

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SACRAMENTO — The WEC is set to put on its first ever pay-per-view event this weekend at ARCO Arena, and UFC president Dana White was in town to run Thursday's press conference for the buildup of the WEC 48 card.

White is known for sitting down with the media following press conferences and shooting straight answers to any questions they may have leading up to an event. Here are some highlights from the recent chat.

Yeah, chicks dig Urijah Faber

One reporter Thursday really wanted to push the idea that Faber's looks are a big seller for WEC fans, as he brings female fans to the audience.

White agreed with the guy, giving him a hard time while doing so.

"You think he's sexy?" White asked the reporter. "Yeah, people will talk to me who are not hardcore fight fans and they'll say, 'I like that surfer kid.' They think he's in the UFC."

When the reporter continued to stay on the topic, White eventually ended up shrugging his shoulders and said he didn't know what else there was to say.

"Are you asking me if chicks dig him?" White said. "Yeah, chicks like Urijah Faber. I'm with you, man. He's sexy."

Flyweight divisions will come to the WEC

White has been quoted as saying the WEC lightweight division will eventually fold into the UFC lightweight division, but only when the WEC is able to make up for that loss with the addition of a 125-pound flyweight division.

Building an entire new division with the kind of talent fans are used to seeing in the WEC may take some time, however, and White is hoping that as the sport grows South America could provide a hotbed for lighter-weight talent.

"Building small weight divisions is going to take time," White said. "One of the things I was talking about is getting into South America, places like Mexico and Puerto Rico. As the sport starts to grow down there you're going to see a lot of Hispanic guys start dominating those lighter weight divisions."

When it comes to a UFC/WEC merger, he knows what he's doing

Rumors of whether or not the WEC will ever fully merge with the UFC into one organization will only increase given White's visual involvement with the proceedings of this weekend's pay-per-view event.

White isn't ready to release his blueprint for the company's future when it comes to merging the two organization's together, but he wants everyone to know they should relax because he's got a plan.

"The hardest part of all this is just figuring it out and believe it or not, I have a plan for this whole thing," White said. "What I'm doing today is based on my idea that all television is going Internet. That's what I believe and I've believed it for a long time.

"One thing I can say is, whether you agree or disagree with the decisions I've made, every year we've taken this thing to another level. What we're going to do over the next three years is pretty (expletive) cool."

White also said that he isn't against dedicating a season of the UFC reality series "The Ultimate Fighter" to lightweight fighters who would then compete in the WEC.

Defends Jake Shields, says the UFC wants him

Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields has caught some heat ever since a brawl broke out after he shoved Jason "Mayhem" Miller in the cage after defeating Dan Henderson on April 17.

White backed up Shields's actions Thursday, saying Strikeforce and Showtime Network had treated him badly the entire week of the event and added that the UFC will pursue signing the fighter to a contract.

"He pulls off this fight after they treated him like (expetive)," White said. "He's the champion and he's not even on the commercials. He gets his moment after pulling off this upset and you get goofball (Miller) running in there. What do you think is going to happen?

"And then they say the UFC does the same thing. No, we don't. We are very controlled over who goes in that octagon after a fight."

CBS brawl may not hurt chances of getting sanctioned in New York, but it doesn't help

Going on about the brawl, White said he was troubled by the fact that many fans who are uneducated about MMA will see the fight on network television and mistake it for a UFC event.

He also accused Strikeforce and Showtime of not caring about moving the sport forward and only seeking a quick buck at a time when it has moved up in popularity.

"When stuff like that happens, the next day the media was reporting it was the UFC," White said. "These guys try to look like the UFC. So if you're just flipping through channels you say, 'Hey, the UFC is on.' And we're working hard to get sanctioned in New York and that's just one thing they can pull up and say, 'Look at this.'

"You think CBS or Strikeforce give a (expletive)? They haven't done anything. They don't care about building the sport. Get out of the way and let us do what we're doing."

UFC is headed to Afghanistan

There have been reports that the UFC is thinking about taking a live event to troops stationed in Afghanistan.

Not only are they thinking about it, apparently they've given plenty of thought to how it's going to happen.

According to White, the biggest problem in getting it done is how to take the equipment to a dangerous war zone. The tentative plan is to fly everything in by helicopter the same day as the event, put on a show and get out as quickly as possible.

"We're working on it right now," White said. "It's so crazy that they can't tell us exactly where or when it would happen. The military is going to let us know when we can do it.

"We're going to chopper in at night. There are a lot of people who are scared. (Announcer Joe Rogan) said, 'Oh (expletive), we're going to do what?' We're going to fly in, set this thing up as fast as we can and get the (expletive) out of there."

Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or [email protected]. Also follow him on twitter: LVSunFighting.

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