UFC president Dana White gives business advice on how to prevent a ‘corporate sh-t show’

As a longtime businessman himself, UFC president Dana White has some advice to give for entrepreneurs.

By: Milan Ordoñez | 4 months ago
UFC president Dana White gives business advice on how to prevent a ‘corporate sh-t show’
IMAGO | PRiME Media Images

UFC president Dana White has been at the top of his game as an entrepreneur for a good part of the last two decades. From running the UFC along with the Fertitta brothers until 2016, White is now more locked in as the company president under the current ownership under Endeavor. 

Based on his own experience, White gave some advice to Pat McAfee, who recently signed a multi-year deal with ESPN

Dana White gives business advice

McAfee asked Dana White about how things were when the UFC made their major transitions over the last few years. The UFC boss’ advice in a nutshell is along the lines of “why fix it if it isn’t broken?” while also giving a warning about letting external factors interfere. 

“You’ve got to cancel out a lot of the noise,” White told McAfee. “At the end of the day, it’s your life and it’s your business, and it’s your decision on what you want to do. If you look at how you became successful and how you became popular and how this podcast blew up is because of this. This environment here. This is the environment that people want to go to. 

“I would much rather do this show than any of the linear TV shows out there. It’s much, much better. And let me tell you what, once you start to get suits involved in your business and these f—ng corporate guys who think they know what they’re f—ng doing — and most of them don’t know jack shit.” 

Dana White relates the Barstool Sports situation

As an example, White brought up the current situation that Barstool Sports is currently in. The sports and culture-oriented website was purchased by Penn Entertainment for a total of $551 million

“You’re gonna see it with Barstool over the next couple of years, too. They came in and they bought it out, they bought Portnoy out. I had a situation yesterday with Barstool, and it’s turning into a corporate shit show, too. 

“It’s what happens when you get these f—ng suits involved in your business.” 

As for the UFC, Dana White is proud to have stood his ground even after Endeavor took over. 

“To Disney’s credit, I’m still me and I’m still doing what I want to do. And I went through COVID. And I put my product on their platform. For what it’s worth.” 

‘Nobody but Dana can run the UFC’

Back in January, Dana White was embroiled in a controversy  when he was caught on video slapping his wife during what was claimed to be a drunk argument during a New Year’s Eve celebration in Cabo. In the wake of the incident, he believed he wasn’t deserving of any repercussions. 

“What should the repercussions be? I take 30 days off? How does that hurt me?” he said in a press conference. “Me leaving hurts the company. Hurts my employees. Hurts the fighters. Doesn’t hurt me. I could’ve left in 2016. Do I need to reflect? No, I don’t need to reflect.”

It was later revealed by a former UFC employee that Dana White does hold enough power to not be penalized for his actions at the time. 

“He’s convinced Ari that he has the secret sauce. “Endeavor thinks that there’s nobody but Dana who can run UFC,” the anonymous employee said. 

Based on 2022 documents, the UFC is currently making more than $1 billion per year, which could easily explain Dana White’s position in the company. He continues to put forward his own brand of promotion with Power Slap, which he claims to be ‘number one in all of sports’ in terms of social media presence.

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About the author
Milan Ordoñez
Milan Ordoñez

Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments.

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