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Dana White Won't Walk Away, Says UFC Will 'Shock the World Again'

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

He's got more money than he can spend, he's already accomplished most of the goals that he set out to achieve in the sport, so why is UFC president Dana White still so adamant about showing up to work every day?

"The way that I look at this thing is I made a commitment, and I'm committed to this. I know what we can do and the things that we're working on – and this might sound (expletive) egotistical as hell, but it's what I believe – I believe that if I walk away from this thing, I believe it won't happen. I love this (expletive)," White told a group of media members this week in Las Vegas.

Despite the recent cancellation of UFC 151 (the first event to be scrapped in 11 years) and a year characterized by injuries suffered by the company's biggest stars, the UFC boss says critics "gloom and doom" scenarios are a joke and that the world's leading MMA promotion is poised for greatness.

"The past month has been a (expletive). Canceling our first event and then all the stuff going on in Brazil. But I don't ever think about walking away," White said.

"We're going to shock the world again in the next two years. When you see these other organizations pop up, they basically copy everything that we do. But they're going to be going in one direction, the copy-the-UFC direction, and then we're shaking (expletive) up. We're going to change how everything works again in the next two years."

While White wouldn't elaborate on the major moves the promotion has planned, he said the changes could be as revolutionary as the steps (signing a long-term TV deal with Fox) that made the UFC the leader of the world's fastest growing sport over the last decade.

"The stuff that's happening right now, I was saying this 10 years ago," White said. "People thought I was (expletive) crazy. Everything we're doing now, I said we would do 10 years ago. I'm telling you right here today, wait until you see what we do in the next five years."

White — who earlier this year was forced to miss a few days of work as an inner-ear condition called Meniere's disease — said nothing would stop him from making the UFC the world's biggest and most popular sport.

"That Meniere's thing put me down for like four days, and that's it. I've been cranking ever since. I won't let it," White said. "It ain't going to stop me. Nothing's going to stop me."

"I think that I would be pussing out and (expletive) everybody. I think that I would be screwing a lot of people if I walked away. It would be a really selfish move, and I don't think I could do it anyway. I don't want to.

"I like what I do. I like what we do. I like what we're building. I like what we've created. The day is going to come when it's time for me to walk away. When that day comes, hopefully somebody else will jump in here that is willing to do what I've done and work as hard as I have to keep going and take it to the next level."

White stressed that he and UFC co-owner and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta have too much global work to continue to quit anytime soon.

"Once we get it to a certain level, anybody can run it then. Then you get people in and anybody can do it," said White, whose company has held shows in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan and Sweden already this year and has upcoming events scheduled for China and England.

"But I just fear that without us, people won't push and go to that next level. People get comfortable. 'We don't need (expletive) MMA in Turkey. There's places in the world where they'd be like, 'Who cares?' We care. We want it everywhere."