Asked about the seriousness of his comments regarding the UFC potentially branching out into boxing in a full-time capacity, on the heels of the record-setting co-promoted boxing match between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather, White indicated Tuesday on The Jim Rome Podcast that he was extremely interested in the idea. White said he believes the UFC could became a major player in the boxing space in the same way it has in MMA.
“I just know how good we are at what we do, and I know we’re better than pretty much everybody else out there,” White said. “I think that the guys who are involved in boxing, the fighters, would enjoy being under this umbrella and fighting for us, and yeah, I do think would could do it better than everybody else does. So what the hell, why not give it a shot?”
White went on to say that he “100 percent” believes professional boxers would be better served competing under a UFC boxing banner rather than with veteran promoters such as Top Rank or Golden Boy Promotions, citing the UFC’s track record in combat sports as a whole and the recent creation of the UFC Performance Institute.
“We’re the best,” White said. “We’re the best at what we do. We think about the future. If you look at this facility that we’re in now (the UFC Performance Institute), a state-of-the-art facility with every piece of equipment you can think about as far as recovery, getting stronger. We have a restaurant here that they eat at everyday for free, costs nothing for the fighters to come here and do all this stuff. Plus, we have a physical therapy center where all the fighters can come in and get physical therapy for free.
“On top of, I think we do our events better than they do, our production is better than the production that’s out there. I think everything in this business that you could possibly do, we do better, and we have health insurance for our fighters.”
White’s comments Tuesday came on the heels of the latest chapter in the long-running feud between himself and Top Rank CEO and founder Bob Arum.
In a recent interview with NYFights, Arum called White’s interest in promoting boxing a move of “desperation,” pointing to the UFC’s struggling year in pay-per-view sales and increasing reliance on big stars to drive major revenue. Arum said that White was “the spokesperson for what could be a failing business.”
Not surprisingly, White didn’t mince words in his response.
“F*ck him. F*ck that guy,” White said regarding Arum.
“This is the same guy who said the same sh*t 15 years ago about me and the Fertittas. He said, ‘They’re losing oodles and oodles of money.’ I don’t even know what the f*ck ‘oodles and oodles’ means, but we’re losing oodles and oodles of money and this business was a joke, it was going to go under, nobody will ever be into a sport like this. And here we are today. I mean, this guy is such a jerkoff. Literally the biggest piece of sh*t in all of sports, Bob Arum, ladies and gentlemen.”
Notably, White isn’t the only big UFC name to mention a potential future in boxing.
McGregor, speaking Tuesday with Ireland’s entertainment.ie, also teased that further pugilistic matches could rest on his horizons. McGregor explained that a UFC lightweight title unification bout against Tony Ferguson is likely his next step, but the Irishman still left the door open for a return to the ring. And when asked about the possibility of McGregor ever making his boxing comeback, White’s answer was telling.
“Never say never,” he said.