Dana White, on the UFC 207 post-show on FS1, defended himself against the criticism that Amanda Nunes, the champion, was disrespected by all of the focus being on Rousey in the lead-up to UFC 207.
“Everybody was chirping about the promotion for this fight that it was all Ronda-based,” he said. “I could have spent 100 million dollars on advertising and nobody would have known who Amanda Nunes was, right? After tonight, everybody knows who Amanda Nunes is now. Okay? Tomorrow morning, now they know. That’s why I’m the promoter and everybody else isn’t. You see what I’m saying?”
As for Rousey’s mindset after the fight, White said he’s been with Rousey leading up to the fight and after the fight. He said she’s fine. “Obviously, she’s so competitive she’s devastated, but she’s a lot better than she was in the Holly Holm fight,” he said, referring to how despondent Rousey was after her first loss. “She’s backstage. Obviously she’s upset. She has a lot support with her. I think it’s going to be a lot better than the Holly fight.”
As for Nunes, he said she is emerging as a star. “She’s on her way to cementing her own legacy,” White said.
He noted that the crowd for UFC 207 was the largest ever gathered for a fight in Las Vegas. He said they opened up standing room only tickets and there were almost 20,000 in attendance. He said some of them were emotional after the Rousey loss. “When I walked out of the arena tonight, people were crying,” he said.
Keller’s Analysis: Nunes is not the mystical figure that Rousey was and might never be. She seems to have the usual range of human emotions, which is fun to see and endearing, but can limit her stardom. There was just something about Rousey that people were fascinated by. That said, if Nunes can dominate from here, she can be a long-term and more stable central figure in women’s fighting. She’s probably less likely than Rousey to be pulled away from fighting into the U.S. celebrity culture being that she’s from Brazil. I’d say the bigger star created tonight might have been Cody Garbrandt, but that’s a discussion for this weekend or next week.
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