Two More Rounds: Dana White Discusses Extending Fights

Ken BeckettCorrespondent ISeptember 1, 2009

LONDON - JANUARY 17:  (UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS OUT) UFC president Dana White attends the 'Octagon' private view at Hamilton's Gallery January 17, 2007 in London, England.  The exhibition showcases work by photographer Kevin Lynch documenting the world of Ultimate Fighter Championship (UFC) events.  (Photo by Claire Greenway/Getty Images)

Minotauro Nogueira versus Randy Couture at UFC 102 was one of the best fights we've seen in the UFC in awhile. Once all is said and done, it very well may be the fight of the year.

It was a great back and forth contest that saw both fighters punishing their opponent. When it looked like Nogueira had the upper hand, Couture found a way to battle back. And the same happened with Minotauro Nogueira whenever Couture tried to mount any offense.

It was a fight for the ages, and one that MMA fans will remember for a long time. There is however one complaint that people have had in regards to the fight.

It was too short.

Once the final horn sounded after the third round, everyone in attendance at the Rose Garden Arena and everyone watching at home wanted to see the two veterans go at it some more.

You can't always get what you want however, as this was a non-title fight. And in the UFC, and most MMA organizations, non-title fights are scheduled for three, five minute rounds. It's only championship fights that are extended to five rounds.

There is trend is emerging in the UFC in regards to three round main event fights. Their most recent pay-per-view, UFC 102 on Saturday night, was the fourth consecutive show headlined by a non-title fight that went to a decision.

So with fans paying upwards of $50 to watch a PPV and wanting more bang for their buck, there has been a push to have Dana White and the UFC extend non-title fights from three rounds to five rounds.

White was asked about the idea of extending fights, and while he seems to understand the appeal of it, he is against the idea.

"You know how many times I've been ringside and said, 'God, I wish this was a five-round fight,'" White asked after UFC 102. "Brock (Lesnar) and I were watching the [Couture - Nogueira] fight together, and we both said we wish that fight with Nogueira and Couture was five rounds."

Even though he and Lesnar wished the Couture - Nogueira fight could have went longer, White does seem pretty content with the staus quo in the UFC where only championship fights go for five rounds.

"That's what's so special about fighting for the title," White stated. "You fight for the title, and it's a five-round fight, you don't, it's a three-round fight. So if everything could be five rounds, what's the point in having title fights at five rounds? Do you extend them to seven rounds?"

The organization's next PPV is UFC 103 on September 19th deep in the heart of Texas at American Airlines Arena in Dallas. Where you guessed it, the event is headlined by another three round non-title fight, between the returning Vitor Belfort and Rich "Ace" Franklin. If this one is a great fight that goes to a decision after three rounds like so many have before it, expect the call for fights to be extended to get much louder from MMA fans.