When talking to Ariel Helwani in a post-fight interview on FUEL, the UFC President wasn't happy with the first three fights on the main card. If not for the last two bouts, the entire pay-per-view card might have been considered a dud.
White weighs in:
Thank God for the co-main and main event tonight, that's all I have to say. The undercard was awesome. I'm talking about the pay-per-view. The co-main and main event saved the night.
It was a tough crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, but it's tough to disagree with White.
Chris Leben's anticipated return against Derek Brunson was an early snoozer. Both men were already gassed by the second round, and Brunson seemed more interested in the clock than trying to win the fight.
Yushin Okami and Alan Belcher were up next in a bout that generally consisted of top control without any attempts at advancing position.
In the third fight, an accidental headbutt and eye poke turned Tim Boetsch into a shell of his usual aggressive self against Constantinos Philippou.
By the time the co-main event rolled around, the energy was completely sapped from the arena, and fans appeared anxious to fast-forward to the heavyweight championship.
Luckily, Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon saved the event with a brilliant performance that could steal Chan Sung Jung and Dustin Poirier's thunder for "Fight of the Year." To think, some fans were complaining about Miller and Lauzon not being suitable as a co-main event for a pay-per-view card.
As the saying goes, a fight card is only as good as its main event. It's nearly impossible for a show to stand out with a stinker for a headliner.
Thankfully, Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez exceeded expectations in the highly anticipated championship rematch. Velasquez earned a lopsided unanimous decision in the end, but Dos Santos' heart and perseverance helped turn the fight into one of the most memorable heavyweight title bouts in recent memory.
White was all smiles when talking about the main event:
I would've bet everything I owned that this fight would never go five rounds, and I'd be broke right now. I thought either one of them could win. Tonight, you saw Cain Velasquez, early on he wasn't afraid to trade with Junior Dos Santos, and he actually got the better of the standup, and tonight you saw him take him down.
What else you saw was how tough and how much heart Junior Dos Santos has. From what I'm hearing, his jaw was broken in the second round, and he fought the rest of the fight. What he did tonight was amazing. I've never seen a guy so tough.
It was confirmed at the post-fight press conference that Dos Santos' jaw wasn't broken. This still doesn't take away from a Rocky-like performance from the former champ.
With Velasquez's victory, the UFC embarks on a long journey of welcoming one of the biggest heavyweight rivalries in MMA history.