CALGARY - It's official: The UFC 149 main card sucked.
"We can count on one hand how many shows suck," said UFC president Dana White after Calgary's first UFC event.
"(Saturday) is one more finger on that hand."
Following a pay-per-view offering that drew boos from the crowd and saw three consecutive, inactive fights lumber to decision, White said he was ashamed.
"We broke the gate record here and I'm embarrassed," he said of the $4.1-million take at the door that eclipsed the previous Saddledome record held by The Rolling Stones.
"The undercards delivered. They were awesome. The main card did not."
White said the cursed Calgary card started off with a bang -- sold out immediately and began falling apart just as quickly as fighters dropped out due to injury.
Despite the lineup changes, White felt confident the fight club had put together a solid card until the main fighters took to the cage.
"I was so excited to stick this one up everybody's ass that said this card sucked, and we didn't," he said.
White's post-mortem was ruthless.
"I think there were a lot of things that went wrong. I felt like I was at UFC 33," said White.
UFC 33 saw every main card fight go the distance and is generally regarded as one of the worst the promotion has ever hosted.
"I think that Cheick Kongo and (Shawn) Jordan pushed against the fence for three rounds and I think the ref let them do it. I mean, this isn't the ultimate clinching championship -- it's the fighting championship. When you see two guys clinching for two rounds and the third round they clinch for an entire five minutes and the ref is standing around looking at them. As a referee, your job is to enforce the rules and make sure that these guys fight. If they're not fighting, you break them up and you make them fight."
White also said the Hector Lombard/Tim Boetsch fight wasn't what he expected.
"I was expecting a real war," said White.
"I thought 'thank God Lombard and Boetsch are coming up next. This is going to save the show.' And when it was over, I was like 'Oh My God.'"
He said despite the fights that led up to the Urijah Faber/Renan Barao main event, the headliner didn't deserve the cold reception it received.
"I don't think the Faber/Barao fight deserved boos "¦ if the rest of the card wasn't as (crappy) as it was, it wouldn't have been so bad," he said.
"If you were booing during the Barao/Faber fight, you aren't a fan of MMA. You're a fan of some crazy old UFC (stuff). If you were booing during that fight, you came here to see lions in the cage or something like that."
White says he feels an obligation to return to Calgary and put on a good show.
"We'll be back and we'll make it up to you. I promise," he said. "We're going to have bad fights. I'm not happy that we had bad fights tonight, but it's not Calgary's problem. It's me and my boys."
FIGHT NIGHT BONUSES:
Each Fighter received $65,000 in bonus money.
KO of the Night: Ryan Jimmo
Submission of the Night: Matt Riddle
Fight of the Night: Bryan Caraway vs Mitch Gagnon
UFC 149 FULL RESULTS:
Renan Barao def. Urijah Faber for interim bantamweight title by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45)
Tim Boetsch def. Hector Lombard by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Cheick Kongo def. Shawn Jordan by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-28)
James Head def. Brian Ebersole by split decision.
Matt Riddle def. London, Ont.'s Chris Clements via arm triangle at 2:02 of the third round.
Calgary's Nick Ring def. Court McGee by unanimous decision (all 29-28s)
Francisco Rivera def. Winnipeg's Roland Delorme by KO at 4:19 of the first round.
Edmonton's Ryan Jimmo def. Anthony Perosh by KO at 0:07 of the first round.
Bryan Caraway def. Sudbury's Mitch Gagnon by rear-naked choke at 1:39 of the third round.
Oshawa's Antonio Carvalho def. Daniel Pineda by KO at 1:11 of the First Round.
Anton Kuivanen def. Saskatoon's Mitch Clarke by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)