The Ultimate Fighting Championship is returning to Denver this summer -- maybe in part because local tweeters were shouting and screaming for it.
"It's a great market all the way around for us," UFC President Dana White said at a press conference this morning at the Pepsi Center, announcing the five-round lightweight title rematch of champion Benson Henderson and Frankie Edgar.
"They are yelling and screaming at me everyday on Twitter -- 'Come back here! When are you coming back here?' ...how much we meant to Denver. I think that's a testament to what an awesome market this is."
Paying attention to Twitter is a part of his job, White said.
"I do read everything on Twitter and online. I'm very in tune and in touch with what the fans want.... We're a pay-per-view company and we need to put on the fights that fans want to see," he said.
White was joined by Henderson, originally from Colorado Springs, and Edgar, the former lightweight champion, for the news conference announcing the August 11th match. Hundreds of cheering fans gathered for the event, which was open to the public.
"Welcome back, Dana!" a woman shouted as White and the two fighters entered.
"I'm glad to be back here. We love having fights here. The fans are great," he said before fielding questions about (what else) the altitude.
UFC president Dana White hypes the Benson Henderson-Frankie Edgar match.
Photo by Sam Levin
"You have to prepare for this altitude," White said. "They know what they're gonna get when they come here. I'm sure these guys are going to prepare. Plus, you're talking about two athletes here that never stop. These guys keep coming, keep moving forward," he said.
After one reporter asked Edgar whether he was nervous about his opponent's home field advantage -- Benson was on his way to becoming a Denver cop before he decided to launch his MMA career full-time -- Edgar said, "As long as the judges aren't his uncle."
Fans at least seemed focused on the upcoming match -- and how they might get involved.
One posed to White a somewhat confusing request: Could he walk in some kind of entourage in August during the match. White wasn't sure exactly how to respond.
Another fan shouted to White, "You have time for me and my buddy to take you out for lunch?"
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"To lunch?" White said. "I got to fly back to Vegas, but thank you, I would if I wasn't."
The fan didn't give up: "We wanna hang out!"
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