Dana White sat down for a lengthy interview with Ariel Helwani for Fuel TV’s UFC Tonight which aired last night. In the interview a variety of topic stood out, but one of the moments that seemed to have the most people talking on Twitter during the initial airing was the final question, when Dana was asked if he has any regrets from his time as UFC president.
“You guys have to understand this, but this is the way I am. I have no regrets. The only thing that I regret is in that video blog when I used the F word. That’s the only thing throughout the 12 years of running the UFC. The way I came off in that thing, people still think I’m some kind of homophobe, and I’m not. That still bothers me.”
Of course, one could also point out that in addition to the homophobe thing, many people thought that he his decision to call Loretta Hunt a “fucking dumb bitch” in the same video smacked of a certain amount of misogyny as well. But I suppose those comments landed how they were intended.
Dana did give an outstanding answer when Ariel asked him if he is the greatest promoter of all time:
“I have no idea. I don’t think I’d be someone who would make that decision. I think there are a lot of great promoters. People know who Barnum is, Vince McMahon has been around a long time. Don King. Mamma Kardashian, if she isn’t the greatest promoter of all time, I don’t know who is. The show is about nothing and her daughters are some of the most famous people on earth and are making millions. I don’t think you could count her out. I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to do and we’ve done things that people have never done before, things even boxing couldn’t do in its heyday. I don’t think about who’s the greatest promoter of all time.”
On what he’s most proud of:
“There are a lot of things I’m really proud of. We’ve revolutionized the fight business. We’ve done things in the fight business that nobody has ever done in the history of combat sports, including health insurance for fighters. We’re tweaking and fixing things. It seems like every way you turn, someone is waiting for you to fail. I tell you what: they’ll be waiting a long time for this one to fail.”
On the Fox deal:
“It doesn’t matter what year it is or what relationship it is, there’s always challenges with your business. I like it. I like the fact that we have to change things up. We have to figure things out that we didn’t realize in the beginning. It’s been interesting but fun. I told you when we got into this FOX deal, the next two years were going to be critical, and I’m having fun.”
“I don’t think there’ve been any lessons. I think we’re learning how to work with each other. This is a different deal for FOX than they’ve ever been in before. We control the production and we’re on three different networks – FUEL TV, FX and big FOX. So there are a lot of things that we needed to tweak, but we’re in a really good place right now. I’m feeling really good at the end of the year.
And on if this is a “make or break” season for The Ultimate Fighter:
“No, it’s not a make or break year. There are some things that we all did wrong. And we need to fix them. It’s all part of running a business. The thing about us is we’re not afraid of taking risks. If we were, we wouldn’t be sitting here right now. This whole business has been a risk since day one.”
“It [White’s relationship with Roy Nelson] hasn’t been good. It’s a nuisance. I don’t know if it’s good TV. In the end of the day, what people have to understand is it’s not about good TV. ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ is about finding the best guys to bring to the UFC. We pick these coaches because we believe they have something to offer, not just in training, but in knowledge and experience and all the other things that come along with the guys who we pick as coaches.”
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