Dana Frederick White Jr. is no shrinking violet when it comes to controversy or media coverage. He has made a name for himself as the aggressive and charismatic president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. White began his career as a manager with clients such as Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell.
Since becoming president in 2001, White has helped turn the UFC into the most popular and lucrative of the MMA associations. This success seems to have come hand and hand with personal feuds. This is the public face of Dana White, but just beneath the surface there is another interesting layer you didn’t know.
15. White vs. McGregor
UFC is filled with stars with big egos and big personalities, but not all of them fight in the octagon. Dana White brings a fighter’s mentality to his duties as UFC president. This aggressive, take no prisoners attitude was bound to rub some people the wrong way. One of these people appears to be Conor McGregor, whose charm and skills makes him a huge asset to MMA.
So what’s the problem? Is it simply a clash of personalities? Is it something deeper? There have been complaints from fighters that White’s stewardship of UFC has been great for the organization, but not always great for the fighters. White and McGregor have not fully addressed the rumors leaving fans to speculate.
14. Flying the Unfriendly Skies
By all accounts Mike Tyson and Dana White are good friends. But it seems clear the heavyweight champ doesn’t let things like friendship get in the way of the important things in life. This list includes a particular seat on a private jet that friend Dana White was already sitting in.
White was sitting comfortably waiting for the plane to take off when Tyson boarded the plane and suggested that his friend move. White half-heartily objected, but quickly relinquished his seat to Tyson.
As if this wasn’t enough Tyson scribbled the word d*ck on White’s forehead while he was sleeping. Most of us would probably put up with this treatment if it meant we could fly on a private jet instead of enduring the indignities of commercial airline travel.
13. Trump Wins in a Knockout
Ok, it wasn’t quite a knockout – it was actually a fairly collection, but almost no one gave Donald J. Trump a chance to win the Republican nomination and certainly not President of the United States. People like Dana White, however, gave Trump a fighting chance and he went out of his way to endorse the business man and fight enthusiast.
Not only did White endorse Trump for the Republican nomination he gave a rousing speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Fans of UFC and MMA in general were fertile ground for the pugnacious candidate Trump who loved to get in the ring and spar with politicians and the media seemingly for the fun of it.
12. Giving Back
Dana White is known as larger than life character spending his days relentlessly promoting UFC. This is a full time job, but he found the time and money to donate $100,000 to his former high school in Maine. White graduated from Hermon High School in 1987.
The money he donated reportedly went to make improvements to the athletic facilities including a new visitors’ grandstand. The Hermon Hawks were definitely grateful for the assistance and the fact that a former student made good and didn’t forget where he came from.
11. Mrs. White in the Press with a Book
Most of us grow believing that our mom’s have our back. If you can’t trust your mom what does that say about her and you? Dana White was likely asking questions like these when his mother, June White, published a tell-all book about her famous son in 2011. The book is called Dana White: King of MMA and by all accounts this unauthorized biography is a juicy read.
Mrs. White calls her sone a “prick” and a “tyrant” for the way he has treated her and others as he rose to prominence. But she reserves her most damning charges for how Dana White supposedly ignored his poor grandmother who continued to live in a trailer even after White was making millions of dollars.
10. Ear Disease
Dana White didn’t have a career as a fighter so he never fell victim to the condition commonly known as cauliflower ear, but he does suffer from a serious ear condition. Meniere’s Disease is a neurological condition that effects the inner ear causing vertigo and progressive hearing loss.
The condition can be treated but it often resulting in deafness in the affected ear. On the advice of Yankee Alex Rodriguez Dana White made a trip to Germany for treatment. He had to go to Europe for the stem-cell procedure because it was not available in the U.S.
After undergoing the procedure White was quoted as saying he felt like “a million bucks.” He was so happy with the outcome he encouraged others with similar conditions to get treated.
9. Never Mind
It seemed there was a time when a shoe was about to drop. UFC fighter Tyron Woodley went very public to complain that Dana White had unfairly criticized him. Unless there was a public apology Woodley said he would go public with embarrassing secrets. He did not get a public apology, but he did not leak any embarrassing secrets either. ‘
One is left to wonder if someone, perhaps White himself, got to Woodley and convinced him to cool down and drop this messy feud. Of course the other possibility is that Woodley didn’t have any secrets to reveal. Either way it was a childish episode that likely both men are eager to put behind them and get back to promoting Woodley’s next fight.
8. Fighting Words
In January 2017 actress Meryl Streep accepted a Golden Globe Award. Instead of merely thanking the foreign press and her agent etc., Ms. Streep felt the need to take a swing at MMA.
As UFC president, Dana White was bound to take offense at Streep’s insensitive comments. Sure enough he responded to the entertainment show TMZ by saying, “The last thing in the world I expect is an uppity 80-year-old lady to be in our demographic and love mixed martial arts.”
He took particular offense to Streep’s comments that while Hollywood is full of artists, MMA is definitely not.“Of course it’s an art,” he said. “I mean, these fighters, the men and women are so talented. They train their whole lives to become the best in the world.”
7. This My City
“You can’t stop living your life. There are sick cowards everywhere,” White said. “This is the life we live right now. This is the world we live in. And you just can’t hide from these people.” Sober words from UFC president Dana White who is a resident of Las Vegas with his family.
White made news by defending gun ownership in the wake of the horrible massacre carried out at the country music festival where 58 people were killed and more than 500 were wounded. But he also rose above the politics of the moment by pledging to donate $1 million dollars to the victims in UFC’s name.
As the president of the UFC, he assured fans upcoming events in Las Vegas would not be cancelled.
6. No Limits
When UFC was sold to investors in 2016 for $4 billion a lot of people made a lot of money. As the president of the lucrative MMA organization, Dana White was one of those people. His reported 9% ownership stake may not sound overwhelming, but it translates into several hundred million dollars. His new contract guarantees him the 9 per cent ownership for 5 years.
So as the fortunes of UFC rise so too will Mr. White’s already significant income. This deal gives him every incentive to make UFC even more successful that it has been to date. As the popularity of MMA continues to increase around the world White’s potential income from UFC has no limits.
Men like Dana White and Vince McMahon who run big companies have big egos so its not so surprising that the two have had their differences over the years. White referred to the president of the WWE as a maniac during 2014 appearance on the Arsenio Hall Show. McMahon, for his part, had apparently challenged White to his choice of either a UFC or WWE match.
White so far has declined to meet the challenge from McMahon. White maintains that he has a good relationship with McMahon and does not consider them to be enemies. But the wrestling mogul doesn’t appear to reciprocate the good feelings White…unless of course it’s all fake?
4. The Rockets’ Red Glare
Dana White grew up in New England and he is a Patriots fan. But his passion for football does not extend to the business end of things. When asked in an interview if he would want to be the NFL commissioner he made it clear he thought Roger Goodell put up with way too much stuff and that he was paid much too little.
The bottomline was he wouldn’t want anything to do with it. In the same interview he was asked about the ongoing controversy over the national anthem protests and whether he would play the anthem at UFC matches. Although White did not explain why UFC doesn’t play the patriotic song, he did say if President Trump asked him to make it part of UFC he would.
This is the age of social media so when you are an internationally known celebrity you have to know you are going to get a lot of attention on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. For the most part it seems celebrities accept this fact, although many of them clearly do not like it. But how would you like to have a blog dedicated to trashing you?
For UFC president Dana White that blog was Danawhitesucks.wordpress.com. This blogger ranted about his numerous alleged shortcomings from treating UFC fighters badly to being a horrible businessman. There is no question Dana White has his faults, but under his leadership UFC has become a highly popular and profitable sport and entertainment brand.
2. Help Me Ronda
Rumors swirled around the world of MMA for years that UFC president and Ronda Rousey were an item for at least a short time. Rousey addressed these rumors in her 2015 autobiography called My Fight/Your Fight.
In the book she explains that she and Dana White did spend a lot of time together and made public appearances during the period her contract to join UFC in 2012 was being hammered out. White was hoping the contract would be finished while they were together and they would be able to make the big announcement together.
The fighter insists she never dated or had a relationship with White. For his part Dana White has been pretty quiet about the whole thing.
1. Whitey Bulger
As a young man living in Boston in the late 1980s Dana White Boxercize classes at a gym in South Boston. The infamous Boston mobster Whitey Bulger and his gang got wind of his business activities. At one point henchmen for the mobster approached White demanding $2,500 in protection money that he was unwilling and unable to pay.
When they demanded he pay the money by the following day or else, White says he bought a ticket for the next flight to Las Vegas and removed himself from the situation. He is upfront about being run out of town by the mobsters, but in some versions of the story White was actually beaten up to convince him to pay.
However, in his recent retellings of the story, White does not mention that the hoods got physical.