Dana White talks Khabib-Gaethje bout, UFC's best year ever and why a 165-division won't happen

Yahoo Sports combat columnist Kevin Iole catches up with UFC president Dana White to discuss UFC 254's much-anticipated main event between lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim champion Justin Gaethje. Plus, White explains why a 165-pound division is off the table.

Video Transcript

KEVIN IOLE: Hey, folks. Welcome to Yahoo Sports. I am Kevin Iole, and my guest today is the president of the UFC, Dana White. Dana is in Abu Dhabi. UFC 254 on October 24, Khabib Nurmagomedov against Justin Gaethje for the lightweight championship. Going to be a great fight. Dana, how's it going today.

DANA WHITE: I'm good buddy. How are you?

KEVIN IOLE: I am doing awesome, doing really well. Really can't wait to Khabib and Justin. I think that's one of the fights that any fight fan has got to be excited about.

But let's start not with the fight itself but the card. You're starting it at an early time, at a different time. The main card starts at 2:00 PM Eastern, 11:00 AM Pacific.

And I'm just curious, why the change? You've been on a roll with your pay-per-views in your normal time frame. Why the change for this one?

DANA WHITE: Yeah, well, there's a couple reasons. First of all, Abu Dhabi wanted to do that. They wanted to do it, and obviously they'd been incredibly insanely good partners for the last 12 years. And you know, if you look at our international partners and fans and all that stuff, we can give them one at a prime time, you know what I mean.

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

DANA WHITE: So.

KEVIN IOLE: I look at this card, and you know, I think I said this to you before, you know, where I think it's a million-buy pay-per-view and, you know, could be a two million-buy pay-per-view under the right circumstances. But you going to this different time makes me wonder if you're going to hit that. Do you feel like you know you're doing something for your partner that may hurt you domestically in terms of the pay-per-view sales?

DANA WHITE: We've been killing it, man. Every fight that we've been putting on, you know, even the Holly Holm fight the other day crushed it. We crushed it last week with that card. The Adesanya fight crushed it. I mean, we're just-- I'm not even concerned about it.

KEVIN IOLE: OK. Yeah, you had said to me a while back that you thought, even though there was no fans for most of the year this year, that there was a chance that 2020 could be the best year in UFC history. I know last year had been the best year in UFC history in terms of, you know, overall. How can that possibly be that you're going to go nine months with no fans and all of a sudden, now have this happen?

DANA WHITE: Because we know what the hell, we're doing.

KEVIN IOLE: [LAUGHS]

DANA WHITE: That's how. Every time, you know, something happens to the business, we sit down and we try to figure out, just like when the pandemic started. The first thing that I didn't say is, let's shut this thing down and let's go hide in the house. I said, let's figure out how to do this safely. There has to be a way.

There's always a way to solve problems. And without letting you know too much-- you know, I don't like to know-- especially, I don't like to let the media know too much about our business and how it runs and what we do. But we figured out how to-- and listen, I don't want to get too cocky here. I still have two weeks left at Fight Island, and let's not forget it is 2020, OK.

KEVIN IOLE: Yeah.

DANA WHITE: The craziest [BLEEP] year on the planet.

KEVIN IOLE: Yep.

DANA WHITE: So I got two weeks to go. We get through these last two weeks and don't have any problems or anything crazy happen, this will absolutely positively be the biggest year in UFC history.

KEVIN IOLE: Is it safe to-- I mean, I got to think, you know, you've been in Abu Dhabi now for, you know, like two different stints, you know, for basically two months. They've got to be paying you a big site fee each show, right? I mean, because that's the only way you could be the best in history is if you're getting some kind of big site fee from them that would essentially make up for the lost gates. I mean, is that a fair assumption?

DANA WHITE: That isn't the only way that you can make up that money. That's not true.

KEVIN IOLE: OK.

DANA WHITE: That's not true. Listen, we obviously-- you know, we did a deal here in Abu Dhabi that works for us and that works for them. We're all happy with the way this deal worked out. But there are many other ways to make up that revenue, and especially when we were willing to go through the pandemic and with our numbers, you know, at the level that they're at right now.

Yeah, I don't like to talk too much about inside the business and how it works and all that stuff. But I'll tell you this, I've been very proud of the fact, since this whole thing started, that A, we haven't laid anybody off. Nobody's been laid off during COVID.

Nobody's salaries have been cut. Fighters have been getting fights. The contender series it's been rolling.

This will be our 32nd event through the pandemic, and it's going to be the best year in the history of the company. And now I'm trying to figure out-- you know, the next puzzle is, how do I throw my employees the most ridiculous Christmas party that they've ever seen. So that's my next-- how do I figure that out?

KEVIN IOLE: Before we move on to the fight, there was one other thing I wanted to ask you about. I heard a rumor that there might be a few fans, that they were trying to work on it in Abu Dhabi and you might have a few fans there. Can you confirm that? Will there be some fans in attendance at UFC 254?

DANA WHITE: We don't know yet. We don't know the answer to that question yet. I believe that Abu Dhabi will probably be first with having fans. And you know, this place is such a cool destination, from hotels, restaurants, you know, all the different sightseeing. The infrastructure here is unbelievable. The list goes on and on.

So when we come back again, I'm hoping that there's going to be fans. And we'll do something much like international flight week and have all kinds of stuff going on all week for people to come in from all over the world and check out Flight Island.

KEVIN IOLE: Let's talk about the fight. I mean, I'm a little surprised at the odds. You know, I mean, Khabib is 28 and 0 and one of the greatest fighters of all time, I think the pound for pound best fighter in the world now. And yet the odds keep-- you know, and so you figure he's going to be the favorite, but the odds keep creeping up, and it's almost like they forget what Justin Gaethje did against Tony Ferguson.

Khabib is like, I think now, if I'm not mistaken-- I didn't look this morning, but I think it was like a 3 to 350 favorite. Seems a little high for a fight, you know, against somebody of Justin Gaethje's stature. How do you look at this match-up, and does it surprise you that Khabib is a big favorite and growing?

DANA WHITE: Yeah. No, that tells you that a lot of people are laying money on Khabib, and he's been so dominant throughout his career. But the thing that makes this such a great fight is that Justin Gaethje has the perfect style, MMA wrestling, not just wrestling, MMA wrestling. He's very good, you know, his wrestling as it applies to the sport of mixed martial arts.

Then he has knockout power in both hands. He's not afraid to go after anybody and mix it up. This is by far the most dangerous opponent that Khabib has ever faced. So I mean, if you're a gambler, you've got to love those odds.

KEVIN IOLE: You know, and going, looking at Khabib, you know, I mean, he's known for his grappling. And it's almost like he's an Olympic medalist wrestler the way he-- you know, his grappling. But I think, you know, the Conor McGregor fight two years ago this month showed something that his hands are better than people think. And the fact that, you know, we know Conor is an elite striker and Khabib drops him with that right hand and Khabib-- you know, obviously his grappling makes his hands better. But do you think people sleep on Khabib's hands?

DANA WHITE: 100%. Yeah, I do. He hits hard. And the thing is, when you have a guy who wrestles the way that he does and the damage that he does to you when you get down on your back, and how hard it is to get up, all you start focusing on is not getting taken down, which you know, makes him able to land some big shots on people.

KEVIN IOLE: Right. A really good card. You've got a six-fight main card. The co-main event I like a lot.

Robert Whittaker, who I think is a fantastic fighter-- and because of what happened in Adesanya, people kind of overlook him-- fighting Jared Cannonier. Adesanya said that he would like to fight Jared Cannonier next. But what happens if Robert Whittaker wins that fight? Do we see a rematch with he and Adesanya, or where do you go?

DANA WHITE: First of all, I agree with you. I love that fight. Incredible co-main event. You have the number one guy in the world at middleweight taking on basically the number two guy in the world at middleweight. He's number three in the rankings, but number two is Costa, who just got destroyed by Adesanya So it's one versus two, and the winner absolutely should face Adesanya next.

And the reality, if Cannonier wins, you know, I know that Adesanya loves the challenge and wants to take on Cannonier. But if you're Adesanya, you've got to look at this thing, too. When they fought last time, they broke all the records in Australia and New Zealand.

KEVIN IOLE: Meaning Whittaker.

DANA WHITE: Whittaker and Adesanya

KEVIN IOLE: Right, right.

DANA WHITE: Then Adesanya-Costa just fought, and they broke the record again in New Zealand.

KEVIN IOLE: What record did they break? What record did they break?

DANA WHITE: Pay-per-view.

KEVIN IOLE: OK.

DANA WHITE: Now if these two fight again for a second time, it's just-- it's a very, very massive fight over there.

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

DANA WHITE: And I think it's hard to overlook it. So you know, listen, let's let this thing play out, and no sense in any brain damage over it now, going, well, if Whittaker wins, he should do do th-- you know, we'll see if Whittaker wins. We'll see if Cannonier wins, and we'll go from there. But it makes a lot of sense for those two to fight again.

KEVIN IOLE: I love what Adesanya's doing and the way he's promoting himself, you know, and what he's created. And so, you know, he's gotten into this thing with John Jones. I don't like the stuff on Twitter that they're doing, you know, and it's getting a little crazy. But Adesanya has created now an event with John Jones where, you know, I think a lot of people want to see him fight John Jones. And he told me he's willing to fight John Jones at heavyweight.

You have said that's the fight to me. But how long down the road that? Is it a fight that's a year or two years, or is that something that, you know, maybe in a more shorter time frame we could see?

DANA WHITE: I'm going to tell you what I loved about Adesanya's approach when you look at this and breaking it down to answer your question. So he comes in. He works his way up to the top, right.

KEVIN IOLE: Mm-hmm.

DANA WHITE: Fights Whittaker, wins. Costa gets hurt. He's out. What does he do? He says, I want Romero. And everybody's like, well, Romero doesn't deserve the next shot.

I don't care. He's one of the baddest dudes in the division. He's a guy that people look at as a tough guy. I want to beat him. And he does, right. Now he says if Cannonier wins-- what he's doing is, he's looking to clean out the division.

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

DANA WHITE: So it's a very-- it's the way it should be done, you know. I took all the guys that everybody thought were the top five or the best in the world after I worked my way up already and beat all these other guys. So I'm going to clean out the division. Then, you know, I fight John Jones, or do I go to 205 and try for that belt or whatever, you know? I think the way he's doing it is brilliant.

KEVIN IOLE: Yeah. No, I think he's really smart, too. You know, he's a great fighter. He's a great marketer. And you know, he just got that deal with Puma, and I think that's only the beginning for him, in my opinion. I think this is a guy, you know, that advertisers are going to flock to. And he's going to endorse a lot of products and make a lot of mailbox money, where he's getting that check coming in and not having to get in the ring and fight.

DANA WHITE: I agree.

KEVIN IOLE: One of the fights on your undercard still is sitting there. You have Michael Chandler there. You have Islam Makhachev with no fight. Have you thought about putting those two together?

DANA WHITE: No, because I need Chandler. I need him. You know, we have other plans for him. So if he doesn't have to step in, we've got other plans.

KEVIN IOLE: So how-- I mean, so let's take Chandler first and then Makhachev If Chandler does not have to step in, obviously he's going to need some kind of break, because he's going to make weight, and he's going to, you know, deplete his body a little bit, you know.

DANA WHITE: Yeah, he's going to weigh in.

KEVIN IOLE: Right. So I know he's going to weigh in. So he's going to deplete his body, so he couldn't just come back and fight, say, the 31st, right. So he needs--

DANA WHITE: Right.

KEVIN IOLE: --some time off. How quickly could you turn him around?

DANA WHITE: I don't know. I don't know the answer to that question yet.

KEVIN IOLE: OK.

DANA WHITE: We'll see how his weigh in goes and all that stuff.

KEVIN IOLE: There's been talk, you know, Tony Ferguson, Dustin Poirier with him, whatnot. Can you clarify, have you offered him any fight of that ilk? You know, we hear some, yes, he's been offered those fights, and those guys turned it down or that he turned it down. Has Michael Chandler been offered any specific fight other than being the backup to Khabib and Justin?

DANA WHITE: Yeah. He's been offered a fight, yeah. It didn't work out, so we have him backing this fight up in case anything goes wrong.

KEVIN IOLE: Now what did you make of Ali Abdelaziz, Khabib's manager and the manager of Islam Makhachev, you know, offering $200,000 to Tony Ferguson to fight Makhachev. I don't know if you saw that or heard about that. He even wrote checks and put them on-- he put a copy of the check on Twitter, saying that he was serious that if Ferguson would fly to Fight Island and fight Islam that he would give him $100,000 to show and then extra $100,000 if he won.

DANA WHITE: Interesting.

KEVIN IOLE: Did you talk--

DANA WHITE: I like it.

KEVIN IOLE: --to him about it?

DANA WHITE: Hey, Ali can pump up everybody's paycheck if he wants to.

KEVIN IOLE: Haha. Did you talk to Tony about--

DANA WHITE: It's good to be rich. It's good to be rich, that Khabib money.

KEVIN IOLE: Did you talk to Tony about that at all?

DANA WHITE: No, I haven't talked to Tony, no. I mean, I know there are guys that've talked to Ton-- we wouldn't let Ali put up the money for-- you know what I mean.

KEVIN IOLE: Who knows.

DANA WHITE: We wouldn't let that happen. I'm joking.

KEVIN IOLE: So bottom line, what is going on with Makhachev? Who's he going to fight?

DANA WHITE: I don't know. I don't know what we're going to do. I don't think he's going to fight this week.

KEVIN IOLE: So you'll yank him from the card then?

DANA WHITE: Yeah.

KEVIN IOLE: So it'll be a five-fight main card instead of six?

DANA WHITE: Right.

KEVIN IOLE: OK. All right, a couple other things if you-- do you have some time I can ask you a few other things?

DANA WHITE: Sure.

KEVIN IOLE: OK. You know, I did a live-- I saw you popped into my live chat I was doing yesterday. And the question I got over and over was about Leon Edwards. And I have to admit, you know, it's kind of bizarre. A great fighter like Leon Edwards on a roll, and he's not fighting. What is going on with Leon Edwards? Why is he on the sideline so long?

DANA WHITE: He's not on the sidelines. I mean, listen, the kid was ready to fight, and then all that stuff went down when COVID started, and you know, we were-- remember, we still thought we were going to go to England. England was still open, and we were going to do it, and all that stuff happened.

And you know, he has been offered. He's been offered a fight. You know, I don't want to get into the whole, you know, who turns down fights and who doesn't turn down fight-- but you know, he's been offered a fight. He's been offered a fight. We'll get him figured out soon.

KEVIN IOLE: Now you know, I asked you this yesterday, and you said the fight was going to happen by the end of the year, Petr Yan versus Aljo. Why has this taken so long to officially put together? And Petr Yan, I don't know if you saw his tweet. About a week or so ago, he tweeted to Sterling.

He said, it's not me. I want to fight. UFC said they had something going on. So was there anything going on other than Yan versus Sterling that you were thinking of doing?

DANA WHITE: Nah, nah. I mean, listen, we got this stint we're doing over here. The world isn't normal right now. We're doing these things in little blocks.

Normally we would sit down, and we would lay out the whole year. You know, if this guy wins, he's probably going to fight again in this many months. If this-- you know, that's normally what we do.

KEVIN IOLE: Understood.

DANA WHITE: Nothing we're doing right now is normal, you know, in this year. But Yan versus Sterling is happening December 12. It'll be the co-main event underneath Amanda and Megan Anderson.

KEVIN IOLE: OK, good. That was the thing. People were wondering about that. So now we have finality that that is actually done.

You know, one of the other things-- I did an interview yesterday with Laura Sanko. I was taught-- I wrote a story about James Krause and she trained under James Krause and, you know, works at his gym. And you know, this is probably the fourth or fifth interview I've done with Laura Sanko, and I am continuously blown away by her and by how smart and what a mind for MMA she has.

And knowing, you know, that the UFC has been a trailblazer in so many ways, her goal has always been to work ringside and be a ringside analyst. And it just dawned on me-- and she didn't ask me to ask you this, and I told her that I was going to ask you a question about her, but she doesn't know what it is.

And my question is, why not give her a shot at ringside? I am absolutely blown away, as I think a lot of the fans are, by her knowledge and how quick she is with things. And you know, I wonder, when you look in major professional sports, not many women fill that role. And I think she would be a fantastic one. Would you ever give her a chance sitting ringside next to Jon Anik or one of your other play-by-play people?

DANA WHITE: Well, the reason you think that and you think so highly of her is because so do we. That's why she's here. And you just can't throw somebody in that position. There's a process to-- you know, basically, all these fighters that end up in all these different positions on camera--

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

DANA WHITE: --we fly them out. We see if they have the potential. They actually go through a series of tests--

KEVIN IOLE: Really?

DANA WHITE: --before they're put anywhere. And when Laura is ready, she'll be there.

KEVIN IOLE: OK. Because I mean, I honestly think she's-- every time I talk to her, she's one of the most insightful people. You know, and I agree. I think you have some unbelievable-- you've seen me write about Bisping and DC and Dominik Cruz. I think you have some great, you know, fighter analysts that are doing really good work.

I look at her, and I think, not only is she fantastic, but you know, as a woman, she's a trailblazer. And you opened up women's fighting when you brought Ronda in. And I think that would be such a big thing for women in sport if you could put somebody like that, you know, on a big show and have her doing analysis on a show.

DANA WHITE: Yep. We agree. That's why she's here.

KEVIN IOLE: All right, good, good. Glad to hear that. Nate Diaz had a kind of a cryptic tweet yesterday, 165. I'm not sure who he was talking to, but obviously he wants to fight somebody at 165 pounds, not Conor and not Dustin Poirier because he said, (LAUGHING) they're washed up and he's already taken care of them. Any idea who he's talking about, and have you had conversations about Diaz fighting at 165?

DANA WHITE: You think I know anything that the Diaz brothers are talking about? Are you crazy? You know, but Nate's been saying that forever, and it's just-- it's not going to happen. It's never going to happen here.

KEVIN IOLE: A 165 division.

DANA WHITE: Right.

KEVIN IOLE: Yeah, I'm not in favor--

DANA WHITE: There's no point in doing a fight at 165. What does that mean? You know, if we don't have a division for it, why would we do a fight at 165? It makes no sense. Maybe it'll happen somewhere. It's never going to happen here, not while I'm here, anyway.

KEVIN IOLE: Well, so two questions I want to ask you about that. I mean, my feeling-- I think you and I have talked about this privately. I'm not in favor of a 165-pound division either. But you know, to play the devil's advocate, if it's not a title fight, if it's a catch weight fight, you know, why not say, hey, you know, what's the difference? You know, where--

DANA WHITE: Because I hate catch weight fights. I hate fights that don't mean anything. There's plenty of people out there putting on fights that mean nothing. You want to watch fights that mean nothing, I'll give you a list of shows you can go watch of fights that mean nothing, OK. It's just not what we do here.

KEVIN IOLE: No.

DANA WHITE: There's plenty of places you can go and get paid to do fights that mean nothing. And if you look at us right now, if you look at our featherweight division, our lightweight division, our welterweight division, our middleweight division, they've never been more stacked with exciting potential fights, you know. Basically, we know what the [BLEEP] we're doing, you know what I mean. So--

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

DANA WHITE: --if you want meaningless fights that mean nothing, like I said, I can write you a list of where you can watch all those type of fights.

KEVIN IOLE: Now, again, I'm going to preface my question by saying I'm not in favor of this. But you know, you have said many times, you know, that you're against adding weight classes and you're not-- you're never going to have 165-pound division. And you've said it won't happen, and I don't know that you've ever said why. Why do you object to that? So I just want to get you on record so that you explain your rationale for it.

DANA WHITE: For the 165-pound division?

KEVIN IOLE: Yeah.

DANA WHITE: Well, like I was just telling you right now, you got-- so in the lightweight division, right, in the welterweight division, you have Gaethje is the champion, Gaethje, Poirier, Ferguson, Hooker, McGregor, Oliveira, who's looked unbelievable. And those are the top six, right.

KEVIN IOLE: Mm-hmm.

DANA WHITE: Then you got Colby Covington, Usman, the champion, Colby Covington, Gilbert Burns, Leon Edwards, Masvidal, Thompson, and then you got guys on their way up like Geoff Neal, Khamzat in welterweight and middleweight. And I can keep going on. The list goes on and on. Now what's going to happen is, you create a 165 division, guys who can't win the title, guys who can't compete in the top five in these divisions-- it is very, very hard to make it into the top five in the UFC.

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

DANA WHITE: And you'll see the thing just-- people flooding to 65 to try to win the title. Or you know, you'll have these champions trying to win. So you'd probably end up with Usman trying to win two titles at 65. It just-- it fucks everything up.

KEVIN IOLE: OK. Just--

DANA WHITE: Literally, everything is perfect right now. Over the last couple of years, we have built this business and built this thing up to where we are to now. You got featherweight, Volkanvski, Holloway, Ortega, Zabit, The Zombie, Yair, Calvin Kattar, Josh Emmett, you know what I mean. That's the top seven in that div-- you look at the top seven in any division we have right now--

KEVIN IOLE: Strong.

DANA WHITE: --it is badass.

KEVIN IOLE: I agree with that.

DANA WHITE: You start throwing goofy weight classes like 65 in there-- why does Diaz want to go to 65? Why not 70?

KEVIN IOLE: Yeah.

DANA WHITE: You know what I mean? Listen, if you don't like making 55, then why not fight at 70? You know why he doesn't want to fight at 70? You know why a lot of these guys wouldn't want to fight at 70? I'll tell you why, Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington, Gilbert Burns, Jorge Masvidal, Leon Edwards. That's why.

KEVIN IOLE: You mentioned one of the guys I'm going to bring up. One thing I don't want to do is talk politics with you, but what I want to do is kind of talk around politics. And here's what I think is interesting.

You tweeted out Jan Blachowicz met with the prime minister or the president, the leader of Poland when he got home after winning the light heavyweight championship. Jairzinho Rozenstruik, you know, met in Suriname, the leader of that country. Masvidal was out the other day campaigning for President Trump. I think you have a number of fighters out there that are on the trail campaigning for Trump. And I wonder, in your wildest, dreams did you ever think that you would have-- 20 years ago when you started this, you would be in a situation where top political leaders were trying to be seen with your fighters and have pictures with your fighters to help them in their careers?

DANA WHITE: So my philosophy has always been, as human beings, you know, we love fighting. We get it. We love it. And we are also fascinated by who the toughest people in the world are.

KEVIN IOLE: Mm-hmm.

DANA WHITE: And when those people come from where you come from, look like you, talk like you, it's just-- there's nothing bigger. And it's funny, because I talked with the president last night, and he says to me, oh my god, this Buckley knockout. Have you ever seen anything like this? I said, Mr. President, nobody's ever seen anything like this. It was the most viral thing on the internet and all this stuff.

Then he says to me, how about Holly Holm? She looks reborn. It's unbelievable. She looked incredible that night, you know what I mean.

So what's amazing is-- I told you earlier in the conversation the numbers are through the roof, everything that's going on. But like, when I say the world is watching, political leaders, you know, the who's who in the Hollywood scene wherever you live and the list goes on and on, it's phenomenal what is happening right now.

KEVIN IOLE: You know, I want to share something with the people who are watching this. And I think what's funny, you mentioned the Buckley knockout. So as soon as that happened, the first thing I did is, I got to write a story. So I got to call Dana to get a quote for my story.

And so I dial the phone, and Dana picks up the phone. And he doesn't say hello, what's up. The first thing he goes, can you freaking believe that? And like he-- you know, right in the middle of-- you know, he picks up and boom, he's right in the middle of it.

And to me, like, that-- I've known it, obviously, for a long time, but that showed, you know, you are a fan. You're not just a businessman making money off this, which-- you know, you love the fights, and I just heard that passion in your voice. And I just want to share that with people. I thought that was pretty crazy.

DANA WHITE: I'm going to tell you what sucks for the fans. Last weekend, you know, we have that fight card here, right. And the setup is very much like the apex, right.

KEVIN IOLE: Right.

DANA WHITE: I was just talking to my people today. We were talking about-- I had so much fun last Saturday at that fight card. It was incredible. And all we kept talking about was, imagine if the fans were here tonight.

KEVIN IOLE: Oh.

DANA WHITE: If this was a sold out arena anywhere in the world. I had so much fun last weekend. It was awesome.

KEVIN IOLE: That was one of the best cards ever.

DANA WHITE: I'm excited for when we can get fans back and people can come experience this live, like we have been through this pandemic.

KEVIN IOLE: I think that the last live fight, maybe the last live fight-- maybe I'm missing it-- was Weili Zhang versus Joanna. And that was one of the great fights of the year. So it leads me--

DANA WHITE: How fun was that?

KEVIN IOLE: Yeah. Let's wrap up on this. Where's Weili? When are we going to see her back?

DANA WHITE: Yeah. We haven't got a date for her yet, but we're talking about dates for her. So she'll be coming back in early 2021.

KEVIN IOLE: And Rose will be her opponent?

DANA WHITE: We hope so. We don't know. We haven't put it together yet. You know, Rose had some surgery after her last fight, so it's going to depend on how she's healing.

KEVIN IOLE: Dana, good stuff. I appreciate it. Good luck.

UFC 254, October 24. It's going to be a special start time, 2:00 PM Eastern, 11:00 AM Pacific for the main card. What time does the undercard start? I'm sure you know that better than me?

DANA WHITE: Yeah, the under-- you got it. You just nailed, 11 o'clock. 11 o'clock on the West Coast.

KEVIN IOLE: Right, that's the main card. When does the prelim start?

DANA WHITE: 10:15 Eastern.

KEVIN IOLE: OK, there we go. That's the preliminary card. And as I said, the main card, 2:00 PM Eastern, 11:00 AM Pacific, Khabib versus Justin. Great fight. Dana, thank you so much. Appreciate all your time.

DANA WHITE: All right, buddy.

KEVIN IOLE: Thanks bro.

DANA WHITE: Thank you.