There’s no doubt that Dana White has the weight of the world on his shoulders. He’s the most prominent power broker in one of the world’s fastest growing sports. White is under constant pressure because every five minutes some new company is popping up trying to knock the UFC off its lofty perch that is located high above its peers.
So yeah, I get it, being the president of the UFC is a high-pressure job that carries a lot of stress. However, Dana himself talks about how in the last eight years a bunch of promotions have started up and failed in their quest to take out number one. You’d think by now he’d take a lot of the startups with a grain of salt?
After all, the UFC is not only number one in the industry, it is number one with a bullet. The UFC is the only MMA promotion ever to be a legitimate success on PPV and it clearly has the deepest talent roster in all of MMA. Yet Dana White can’t seem to relax.
Instead of just brushing off questions about Fedor and the EliteXC and CBS deal, it seems like he just explodes at the mere mention of them. Instead of just responding by saying, “Yeah, that’s great for EliteXC, but we just got Anheuser-Busch” and focusing on the UFC, he’s been launching into angst-filled tirades. First, there was the post-UFC 82 press conference. Then, there was the recent interview with Carlos Arias in the Orange County Register. And now, there’s a new interview in the Boston Herald in which Dana sounds off.
The expletives were in full effect when Dana started discussing the competition:
“The next company that was going to take me out has been coming for the last eight years,” White told the Herald last week. “Every time somebody puts something new together, it’s been ’Oh, these guys are gonna kick Dana’s (expletive) and put his ego in check.’ There ain’t anybody kicking our (expletive). It isn’t going to happen this year with CBS and Elite XC or any year.”
But when Dana was asked to address some recent comments from a Yahoo! interview in which EliteXC President Gary Shaw claimed White’s ego got in the way of a possible deal with CBS, Dana really let it rip:
“We’ll see who’s around in five years, me or Gary Shaw. There’s some ego for you,” White said. “The reality is I know what the (expletive) I’m doing and Gary Shaw doesn’t. If you go and search Gary Shaw and mixed martial arts (on the Internet), this guy was saying five years ago that mixed martial arts was a joke. (He said) it’s not a real sport, these guys are barroom brawlers. Now that fat, bloated (expletive) is running around acting like he loves mixed martial arts.”
In reading Dana’s comments in recent interviews, it just seems like he’s a little stressed out. I don’t know; does Dana need a vacation or a hug? The UFC has achieved so much success under his guidance but I just wonder if the guy has the ability to enjoy any of it? Sometimes I wonder if there might be a point where White gets on the verge of burning out?
I hope it never gets to that point because the sport has grown so much with Dana at the forefront but I wonder if anything is being accomplished when he goes off on these angry tirades?