Dana White glad to be back in Chicago

Updated: January 27, 2012, 3:56 PM ET
By Ray Flores | Special to ESPNChicago.com

The last time the UFC was in Chicago, the best fighter in the world defended his belt before a nearly sold-out Allstate Arena. And he ended the night by apologizing.

Anderson Silva's strange antics, combined with Patrick Cote's knee injury, capped a somewhat disappointing UFC 90, but UFC president Dana White isn't worried about trying to make up for that night in 2008.

He's confident there won't be any need for an apology Saturday after the second "UFC on Fox" event.

"You never know what's going to happen on a card," White told ESPNChicago.com Friday. "Anything can happen.

"That thing went the way it did. Things happen. We'll see what happens Saturday. We've been on an incredible streak with amazing fights all through 2011 going into 2012 with the fights just getting better and better. We will blow the doors off the United Center on Saturday."

Unlike UFC 90, Saturday's event is a sellout, despite the fact it's on free TV.

"It's been awesome," White said. "We've been working on the Chicago market for a long time. It's an important market to us. This event's been incredibly successful. I think we've done our job. To finally be here at the United Center with it being sold out a week before the fight, I couldn't be more pumped.

"We are coming back."

Originally, the co-main event was supposed to feature Chael Sonnen battling Mark Munoz in a No. 1 contender encounter. An elbow injury forced Munoz out of the matchup and bumped Michael Bisping up the card.

Bisping originally was slated to fight Demian Maia on Saturday.

"I think a lot of people hate Bisping and Sonnen," White said. "I think it's caused a lot of interest between the fans. I think it's going to be a great fight. I don't see how Bisping is a 5-to-1 underdog. Bisping has good wrestling. He's fought Rashad (Evans) at 205 and Matt Hamill, a strong wrestler. It's going to be an awesome fight despite what the oddsmakers are saying."

The main event between Evans and Phil Davis is a No. 1 contender bout to determine the next challenger to reigning light heavyweight champ Jon Jones.

"I think one of the things I love is when you have two really good wrestlers against each other; it always seems to turn into an exciting fight," White said. "The fight is going to be awesome."

The first UFC event on Fox drew close to 9 million viewers.

"I think if we pulled nine million viewers with one minute of fighting and an hour of talking, we're going to do pretty good on Saturday," White said.

Ray Flores is a news anchor on Chicago's ESPN 1000.