Dana White won. There are no ifs, ands, or buts, about it. White, along with the Fertitta brothers, took MMA to new heights that many thought they would never reach. It wasn’t bad enough that MMA was almost banned entirely in the United States (still is in many countries), but the sport had to compete with baseball, hockey, football, and basketball when White and the Fertitta’s bought the UFC in 2001.
Their goal was to make it one of the biggest sporting events in the new century and they've succeeded. They shattered the glass ceiling, passed the limit of the sky, and ended up in space, that’s how successful they've become. The UFC went from only a few events a year to practically an event every week. They have prime time television shows, events all around the world, and have signed some lucrative deals with various top-notch sponsors.
This list is about what Dana doesn’t want you to know, but to be fair to Dana, we have to give him some major props for the growth of the company. You may or may not like him, but he's done some good in the world, such as paying for a little girl’s liver surgery, a person who he never met. He also is more transparent than many of the top executives in other sports.
Still, there are a lot of things Dana White doesn’t want you to know about his personality and the way he runs his business. Enjoy the list!
15 Ignoring Ben Askren
If you just started watching MMA, you may not know about "Funky" Ben Askren. He's a 2008 Olympian and arguably the greatest fighter to ever come out of Bellator. Match after match, Askren has shown he is a dominant force inside a cage. He gets compared to George St-Pierre because of his ground and pound wrestling style.
14 Hyping A Fight With Tito Ortiz
Dana White has said a lot of things that turn out to be untrue. He said he wouldn't have freak fights in the UFC, but still signed James Toney and Phil “CM Punk” Brooks. Dana even made the announcement some years back that the late Kimbo Slice would never step in an Octagon, yet he did. He has also said on two occasions he would make it up to the fans because of terrible performances on a card, however, nothing really came from it.
13 No Respect For A Fighter Who Paid His Dues
Jon Fitch may have never won a championship in the UFC but if anyone watched UFC at the time he was competing, you know he always brought his best. He may not have been the flashiest striker or a polarizing character during press conferences, but he was great at winning in the MMA. His record stood at 24-5-1 before the UFC decided to cut Fitch in 2013. Usually, fighters who get released either have terrible performances or have done something illegal.
12 Blatant Favoritism For Certain Fighters
One of the biggest knocks White gets is his obvious bias towards certain fighters. We understand that as an employer you’re going to favor your money making cows over others, but in the sports world, is it okay for the President to be favoring one fighter over another because of money or should they receive equal disciplinary action or opportunities?
11 Biggest Stars Have Violated The Rules
Just like the other big four sports in the United States, the UFC spends a lot of money on their public image. They love to promote their fighters being involved in anti-bullying campaigns, charities, and social awareness programs. UFC has a lot of great guys but they also have a lot of bad guys that have worked for them as well. Some of the biggest stars in the UFC have also violated the rules and have been suspended for it.
10 Being One-Upped By A 14-Year-Old
Most of us know that Dana White doesn’t hold back his thoughts and isn’t politically correct at all. This list has already given you a few examples of just how outlandish and immature he can be. When it comes to Twitter, White can make some bombshell statements that can set a fire storm throughout the MMA community.
9 The Bashing of Loretta Hunt
Dana White doesn’t like journalism, especially if it's criticizing the UFC. While Loretta Hunt was working for Sherdog, she wrote an article about managers and agents having backstage access restricted. White ripped Hunt on a YouTube video while also accidentally offending the LGBT community. There are a lot of layers to the story, such as the rocky relationship between the founder of Sherdog, Jeff Sherwood, and White.
8 The Ariel Helwani Blow Out
Most sensible people agree that investigative journalism is a watchdog of any evil doings against innocent people. We need great journalism and we’re not talking about the biased spins you see on television either, but journalism that informs the public truthfully. We’re not comparing Ariel Helwani to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, but he is arguably the best MMA journalist ever.
7 Not Respecting A Legend
Before the Fertitta brothers and White took over the company in 2001, Randy Couture was already a hot commodity in the sport. He made his debut at UFC 13 in 1997 and became an icon in the sport by winning multiple championships in different divisions. He retired in 2006 and became the fourth inductee into the UFC Hall of Fame, however, within a year he decided to return to the octagon and would win the Heavyweight Championship against Tim Sylvia at UFC 68 as an underdog.
6 The UFC and Women Don't Mix
Once upon a time, when the UFC had competition with the defunct MMA company Strikeforce, White said women would never fight in a UFC Octagon. Maybe he was jealous of the success women had with his competition so that wanted to put down any thoughts of women in an Octagon. However, his mind changed when UFC bought out Strikeforce. Fast track to 2016 and the women of the UFC have become some of the biggest stars in the sport.
5 Compared a Hack to 9/11
September 11th, 2001, will always be a day to remember, not just for the citizens of the United States but for everyone around the globe. That tragic day helped fuel unnecessary plenty of hatred worldwide. It’s a solemn reminder of how unbalanced, hurtful, and dangerous this world can be. With that said, you should never compare what happened on that day to anything frivolous.
4 Mutiny After Reebok Deal
The famous sponsorship deal between UFC and Reebok is one of the most important contracts the company has ever signed and it’s also the best thing for UFC. After years of letting fighters wear their own sponsorship(s) on their gear, UFC decided only Reebok could be seen on a fighters trunk's as of 2015. The contract is supposed to pay fighters a percentage of sales from their merchandise sales.
3 The Treatment of "Stitch"
Jacob “Stitch” Duran is one of the most popular and well known personalities in MMA that hasn't fought. He’s been involved in numerous high profile matches in combat sports as a cut man, however, his legendary status didn’t protect him from being fired by the UFC after a long relationship in 2015.
As we said earlier, the Reebok deal caused a divide among many in the UFC locker room and that wasn't limited to just fighters. Duran voiced his concerns, explaining that fight-night officials weren’t even included in the contract, even though they also make money from having their own sponsors.
2 UFC 167 Post Press Conference
George St-Pierre was arguably the best fighter in the UFC before his retirement in 2013. He’s the most dominant Welterweight Champion ever and has won numerous awards for his performances. He debuted in the UFC in 2004 and helped grow the company into what it has become today. His blood, sweat, and tears have paved the way for many athletes.
1 His Own Mother Doesn't Like Him
In a bombshell interview in 2011, White’s mother, June, spoke about her concerns in regards to her son’s personality since he became a millionaire. She bashed her son’s character, especially in regards to the treatment of his grandmother before she died. Allegedly, Dana promised his ailing grandmother that he would fly her out to Las Vegas and give her the best treatment possible.
His grandmother even told the neighborhood he was coming to get her, however, Dana never came and it was the final straw his mother could take. In her book, Dana White, King of MMA, June states, “Dana can lose a million dollars gambling in a few hours and just shrug it off, but he can’t help out his 93-year-old grandmother?” She even said the most money she received from her son was a check worth $5,000.
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