clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dana White Tells Rolling Stone That He's the Reason Why UFC's Successful

It's been quite a couple of weeks for mixed martial arts. From UFC's bang-up show in Vegas to Elite XC's debut on CBS, the sport's already rapid growth picked up serious steam. It just keeps going. Dana White, president of UFC, is the subject of a nine-page feature in the current issue of Rolling Stone.

The article paints a positive picture of White as the most powerful man in the sport with a lifestyle to match. Excerpts are online but you'll need to buy the issue, as did, to find the most interesting thing White had to say. After discussing his money disputes with Randy Couture and Tito Ortiz, White recalled when Tim Sylvia told him he'd have to "break the bank" if Sylvia beat Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in February.

See, this is the one part of the business I f---ing hate. Everybody wants more money, they want it now. And then all these fighters are like, 'We're the superstars, not the UFC! It should all be about us.' You dumb motherf---ers. You don't know what you're f---ing with. I'm a promoter. And a lot of this s--- is built with smoke and mirrors.

Those spats over money are going to happen more and more as MMA grows in popularity, it's true of all sports, but they won't kill UFC. If anything brings down UFC, it'll be the sentiment espoused right there.

White is a promoter, an excellent one, and good promoters know how to sell what they have. What UFC has is the deepest roster of MMA fighters and that's the reason why people spend money on PPV's and give The Ultimate Fighter such high ratings. White has sold that time and again and he's made a mint doing it. He's smart, he's savvy and he deserves everything he achieves. He needs to remember it's not all him, though.

Without those athletes, UFC is no better than any other organization. And if UFC is just smoke and mirrors, well, there's a chance for someone else can come along and do smoke and mirrors better.

Take Elite XC, for example. Inferior fighters but Gary Shaw is a salesman of the highest order. He sold Showtime and CBS on his organization, fed into their lust to be in the MMA game and he's capitalized. Saturday night's show, whatever you thought of the actual product, did good ratings and there will be more in the future. That's smoke and mirrors and it's smoke and mirrors done well.

Yet when you read MDS's interview with Shaw and when I heard Shaw speak after the show in Newark, it was all about the fighters. From Kimbo Slice right down to Phil Baroni, Shaw gave them all the credit even though most of the heavy lifting was done by Shaw. White likes to run down Elite and their fighters whenever possible, he shouldn't forget why he's able to do that.

It's about the fighters not about Dana White.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting