When the boss pays you a compliment, it's a good day. It puts you in a good mood and lets you know which side you're closer to on the pink slip-or-promotion debate.
At last Tuesday's UFC on FOX 3 presser, we took a few minutes of our time with UFC president Dana White to seek his opinion on a pair of Long Island middleweights who are a combined 7-1 in the UFC since February 2011.
First, White's words on Chris Weidman (8-1, 4-0) of Baldwin, who is coming off a unanimous decision win over Demian Maia on Jan. 28. Weidman, a Serra-Longo fight team member pictured above, accepted that fight 11 days' notice.
“He looked awesome," White said. "Took that fight on short notice and came in beat one of the best guys in the world, who’s been one of the best for a long time. He’s very legit after that last fight. He’s top 10. He beat a top-10 guy. He is at that level.
“For a guy like Weidman, he took that fight on short notice, First big, huge being-on-the-big stage fight, and came in and he performed. He came out and he won. You can’t always put these guys under the microscope that he didn’t knock out, he didn’t finish, he didn’t do this and that. He beat one of the best in the world. That’s what you have to understand.”
Next up, Costa Philippou (10-2, 3-1, 1 NC) of Massapequa. Philippou, also a Serra-Longo fighter, beat Court McGee by unanimous decision at UFC on FX 2 on March 2.
“I think he could have finished Court in that first round, and he didn’t go for the kill," White said. "The guy’s got unbelieavable power, a great well-rounded game. Court McGee couldn’t take him down. He just needs to get the killer instinct now and get out there and start really banging.”
Those were the two fighters inquired about, but White kept going with the Long Island fighters.
"Another great middleweight from out there, Matt Serra, or is he heavyweight now?" White said with a laugh about the former UFC welterweight champion. "I thought we were talking about all the middleweights out in Long Island. All right, never mind then.”