Dana White the longstanding president of the UFC, he is a polarising figure in the sport which we will get to later in this post – but no matter how you feel about Mr White, he really has been there since day one and has directed the UFC to become the premier division of global MMA, a multi-Billion dollar company and he has generally assisted in the growth of MMA globally so you really have to respect the guy.
For fighters on the UFC roster and to all employees of the UFC, yes Dana White is the boss – but he has never been the majority shareholder or owner of the company, because the real owners has always been Semaphore Entertainment group first, then the Fertitta’s and now WME-IMG – so he is not the boss of bosses but still plays an integral part in the company ownership and day to day management as the active president.
His face alone, his characteristic snide smile, trademark laugh and passion for profanity and making great fights is a classic hallmark of the UFC at this point and make no mistake about it he must be respected as the boss by any active UFC fighter or UFC staff member.
He has had his ups and downs in the world of MMA, but he has never backed down from his responsibilities in running the business which has again helped the UFC get to where it is today.
Here’s a little video showing some of Dana’s most memorable rants in UFC history –
When did he start?
He was born of Irish decent in Manchester, Connecticut on July 28th 1969, the son of June and Dana White Snr. His love for combat sports was apparent in his youth as he began amateur boxing at age 17.
But he decided to direct his career a different path of ownership and by age 31 he was already the manager for top fighters like Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell in around 2001. But then around the same time he caught wind that Semaphore Entertainment group, the parent company of the UFC wanted to find a buyer.
White immediately thought of his childhood friend Lorenzo Fertitta who was an executive at Station Casinos and a former commissioner at the Nevada Athletic State Commission. Dana contacted him about the situation and within a month Lorenzo and older brother Frank Fertitta bought the UFC making Dana White the official president.
White also owns 9% of Zuffa LLC, as I mentioned at the top which is the promotional entity the Fertitta brothers created to own and manage the UFC.
In 2016 The UFC was sold to a variety of investors spearheaded by WME-IMG for over $4 Billion, meanwhile Dana White has continued his role as president.
How do fighters feel about him?
Well as with any controversial figure, some would say that Dana White is amazing and some would say he is a bad person – it should be noted though that even Dana Whites mother called him “Egotistical, Self-centered, arrogant and cruel” take from that what you like.
I’m sure there are plenty of former and current UFC fighters that do like Dana White, names like: Chuck Liddell, Forest Griffin, Matt Serra, Daniel Cormier, commentators like Joe Rogan and any new kids on the block desperate to get Dana’s attention spring to mind for instance.
I also would say Conor McGregor is a Dana White fan, as Conor has literally made hundreds of Millions of dollars off the back of his UFC fights and the Floyd Mayweather fight, all of which Dana facilitated.
But a large share of UFC fighters both former and current have had a lot of bad things to say about Dana White and have an ongoing feud to some degree.
Fighters like: Tito Ortiz, Ken Shamrock, Frank Shamrock, Matt Lindland, Randy Couture, Mark Hunt, Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, Al Iaquinta, Roy Nelson, Matt Mitrione, Leslie Smith, John Cholish, Jocob Volkman, Brendan Schaub, Tyron Woodley, Demetrious Johnson and even though the list could go on much longer lets just leave it there to just give you a taste of some of the top fighters who have had issue with Dana White.
I wont go into the quotes of all these great fighters about Dana White, because you can look into that yourself and I don’t wanyt to make this a smear post on Dana –
But needles to say all the above named fighters and others unnamed who have had issues with Dana White, often tend to have their UFC careers cut short and/or their reputation smeared in someway.
There’s a lot of conspiracies about fighters getting given tainted supplements, match fixing, exploiting contract loopholes, underpaying fighters, medical treatment being avoided for some fighters, blackmailing fighters and even allowing certain fighters to take as many drugs as they want endangering the safety of other fighters – these allegations have all been brought up by some of the fighter names above.
But what should all this tell you?
If you’re an MMA fighter its best to get on with him
Long story short – based on the history of fighters careers who mess with Dana, then I would say that no matter how you feel about Dana White, if you want to progress as an MMA fighter or you want to work in the MMA industry successfully to any capacity, then you simply must get along with Dana White.
Ok sure I’m not saying he’s the best person in the world, because he’s definitely not based on the evidence available – but the man is a phenomenal businessman, a workhorse, he’s always been passionate about making great fights and his ability to direct/produce great shows time and time again has to be acknowledged and respected because he really has been here since day one in MMA.
I mainly want to see fighter pay increase substantially and a better equalised healthcare/pension scheme for fighters into retirement in terms of things I want to see Dana and the owners do.
But Dana White truly is a pioneer of MMA so lets not make sides, lets all get along to help make this amazing sport of MMA continue to grow globally – if you agree and enjoyed this post then give us a like, leave a comment or question below and as always stay tuned for more from the world of MMA right here at the MMAGateway.
Until next time!