Some people think it's great when they're able to grow a plant. Well, how about taking an idea with a couple of friends/business partners and re-growing it into the greatest mixed martial arts organization on the planet?
In the end, that's exactly what current UFC President Dana White helped to do. And the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) would not be the company it is without him. So without further ado, here's his story.
Date of Birth
Dana White was born on July 28, 1969, in Manchester, Connecticut.
White moved around quite a bit as a youth, transitioning between Boston, Las Vegas, and Maine. Eventually, he graduated from Hermon High School in Maine in 1987. Around that time, the amateur boxer settled in Boston where he made his bread as a bouncer and bellman, amongst other things.
White eventually attended the University of Massachusetts for two years but dropped out. Along the way, he launched a boxing program for inner-city children and started a boxaerobics business that did quite well in the late 1990s. That is until the Irish mob reportedly wanted their cut, which prompted him to leave for Vegas.
White certainly didn't mind street fights in his early years. "He's always been very tough," Joe Cavallaro, a former boxer, and friend of White's reinforced in an MMA Fitness article. "I think Dana could have fought pro. . . He's got a real nice jab, and there's nothing you're gonna do to outgun him."
While in Vegas, White became reacquainted with multimillionaire Lorenzo Fertitta, a former classmate, casino owner, and Nevada state boxing commission member. Eventually, the two took a jiu-jitsu class and were sold on its effectiveness. This, perhaps, was what led to the Fertittas' eventual acquisition of the UFC.
Dana White the Manager
While working as a manager in Vegas, White represented both Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell, who would eventually become bitter rivals.
Dana White UFC President
White got to know Art Davies of Semaphore Entertainment Group in Vegas, the parent company of the UFC. So when Davies told him that he was looking for a buyer, White contacted his friend, Lorenzo Fertitta. This led to the Fertittas purchasing the UFC (Lorenzo and Frank). In turn, the Fertittas created Zuffa, LLC, in order to oversee their MMA organization, and named White its president. White currently owns 10% of the company.
White's Style as President
White doesn't hold back any punches. On The Ultimate Fighter reality television show telecasts and at news conferences, he often says what he thinks and does so without worrying about his language. This kind of thing has endeared him to some and caused others to dislike him. What's more, he's been known to verbally attack moves by other MMA organizations and their fighters, likely in an attempt to maintain the UFC's status as top dog in the MMA world.
Regardless, no one can argue that his take no prisoners management style has been a major reason why the organization has grown and dominated the MMA landscape to date.
White is married to Anne. They have three children together, two boys and one girl.
Some of the UFC's Greatest Moves While White Was in Office
The Ultimate Fighter
The UFC's decision to put want-to-be UFC fighters in a house and have them compete for a six-figure contract was huge. The now-famous TUF championship bout between Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin put a spotlight on their organization. TUF is still going strong today.
Acquisition of PRIDE Fighting Championships
With the fall of PRIDE, the UFC's rise become unprecedented. PRIDE was really the organization's first and so far only true competitor.
Bringing Female Fighting to Their Fans
Ronda Rousey, anyone? At this point, hardcore fans look forward to some of the women's bouts as much as their male counterparts.
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