There was a point in time when sports entertainment bigwigs Vince McMahon and Dana White butted heads. The UFC boss even went as far as saying that McMahon once tried to go after him ‘so many times’ during the height of their rivalry.
But since the UFC-WWE merger in September, their relationship has been cordial.
Vince McMahon praises ‘good guy’ Dana White
A month into the merger, Dana White gave an interview about his past dealings with Vince McMahon.
“My history with Vince isn’t a good one. He tried to f–k me so many times for no reason whatsoever except just to f–k me.”
The former WWE CEO was in Riyadh over the weekend to partake in the Tyson Fury-Francis Ngannou festivities. He then took some time to speak with the media alongside Mark Callaway, a.k.a ‘The Undertaker,’ and he got the opportunity to address White’s statements.
“I don’t do business that way. I don’t bust anybody’s chops unless they get in the way,” he said.
For Vince McMahon, the approach is straightforward: how you do business defines your professional relationship down the line. And he applies the said principle when dealing with White.
“Dana and I get along very, very well. He’s really a good guy. We’re good partners, and good businessmen. You’re good businessmen, you get along.”
Vince McMahon, the ‘Michael Jordan of the business world’
During that same interview, White wasn’t hesitant about praising his new partner, Vince McMahon. Their previous contentious relationship, he said, made a complete 180 when they signed the merger.
“Since day one of the deal, it’s like I’m dealing with a different guy. It goes to show that when you oppose him, or he thinks you are opposing him, the guy comes after you blindly. Once you are aligned, Vince is an incredible partner.”
White has had numerous contentious relationships with fellow fight promoters. Regarding Vince McMahon, he said it’s been respectful, nonetheless.
“Even with the stuff that went down with us in the past, I respect it. I love killers. He’s definitely a killer. He’s the Michael Jordan of the business world.”
The implications of the UFC-WWE merger
The wake of this historic merger brought several implications. Head honcho Ari Emanuel, for one, will receive a massive salary bump and bonuses.
But in terms of the future of both organizations, the Undertaker only sees progress, given the similarities between McMahon and White.
“I think it’s hilarious,” the Undertaker said of the partnership. “They’re so similar, the both of them… all due respect. They’re very similar. They say what’s on their minds, and they’re both really good businessmen. They definitely want the best for each of their brands.
“I’m really excited about the merger and the potential for growth, worldwide.”
As for fans expecting a possible crossover? White already killed the idea.
“I don’t think there’s ever going to be a day where we turn every UFC fan into a WWE fan, or every WWE fan—what’s beautiful about the synergy between these two fan-bases is that they are very, completely opposite. There’s very little crossover.”
For now, those at the top, like Ari Emanuel and then division figureheads in Vince McMahon and Dana White, are the ones seen to benefit from this deal primarily. And from that, it’s sensible to see why it was easy for them to bury the hatchet and build a more respectful relationship.
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