MMA UFC bio Dana White
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This series was started as a way to provide information for MMA fans, especially newer fans with information about the fighters that they watch. Before I get too far into the fighter bio’s, I felt it was important to discuss the background of the man who is responsible for us having the sport of MMA, UFC president Dana White. There are some fighters who have openly and publicly bashed Dana for the way he does business, and some fans believe he is too arrogant and cocky. I contend that being a fighter and being around fighters just naturally makes one a little cocky, and I respect someone who will stand up in public and speak his mind regardless if it pisses people off.
Dana White was born in Manchester, Connecticut, put spent his childhood bouncing back and for between Las Vegas, Maine, and Boston. At the age of 18, Dana settled down in South Boston. In Boston, he attended college for a couple of years but never finished. He worked as a bellman at the Boston Harbor Hotel, and as a bouncer to make money, and was known to frequently prove his fighting abilities in bar and street fights. Being an amateur fighter, White’s true passion was boxing. He started an inner-city boxing gym and developed a box-aerobics class, which would later be referred to by Billy Blanks as Tae Bo. The Irish mob controlled most of the south side of Boston, and Dana’s business eventually caught their attention. Unwilling to do business with the mob, Dana packed a suitcase, leaving every thing else behind, and moved back to Las Vegas, where he spent several of his high school years.
Back in Las Vegas, Dana opened a boxing gym, teaching aerobics classes, and managing fighters. He reacquainted himself with one of his high school classmates, Lorenzo Fertitta, when he came to Dana to train him. Lorenzo was now serving on the Nevada state boxing commission and was a multimillionaire casino owner. Along with Lorenzo’s brother Frank, the three of them were planning on starting a new boxing promotion, but after meeting John Lewis, a UFC fighter, they got interested in submission fighting and started training with him in Jiu-Jitsu. Impressed with his success as a boxing promoter, two unknown fighters at that time, Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell approached Dana who agreed to manage them.
At that time, the UFC had a bad reputation and was being outlawed in almost every state. The UFC was in a financial crisis and looking to sell. Dana approached Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta and convinced them that the UFC, with some changes, could be a marketable company. For a price of $2million, the Feritta brothers bought the UFC, and gave Dana White a 10% stake in the company, and put him in charge of running the company.
To make the UFC a success, Dana had to clean up the image and find someplace to market it. White added several rule changes to make the fights more exciting and to put fighter safety first, including strict medical exams. The increased fighter safety was enough to convince Nevada and New Jersey to sanction the UFC fights. The next step was to get the UFC back on T.V., and he employed tactics such as bringing fighters with him to negotiations. 85% of the fighters he began marketing were college grads, and were intelligent and well spoken. These tactics works and he managed to get the cable companies to put the UFC back on Pay-Per-View. Dana has since brought the sport of MMA mainstream with his excellent ability to manage live events, making the fighters accessible to the fans, and his successful deal with Spike to air the Ultimate Fighter Reality show has brought the sport mainstream.
One interesting fact that many UFC fans are unaware of is that Dana White almost stepped into the boxing ring with one of his fighters. Bad blood between Dana and Tito Ortiz developed after Dana bought the UFC, and unable to manage and promote, Dana referred Tito and Chuck Liddell to one of his friends, who was an attorney, to manage. Although Liddell has never shown any animosity, Tito felt like Dana was always giving him the short end of the stick and not paying him as much as he though he should make. The bad blood got even worse over the years, and the in the last contract Tito signed with the UFC, he demanded a boxing fight with Dana. The fight was supposed to be shown on Pay-per-View with the proceeds being donated to charity. Dana trained hard to get back into shape, and jumped through hoops with the Nevada State Athletic Commission to get his fighting license and sanctioned to fight Tito. Tito kept trying to change the conditions of the fight, including using smaller gloves and no head gear, but Dana agreed to all of Tito’s terms. The Nevada state athletic commission scheduled the weigh-ins and waited several hours for Tito to show up, but he never did. The athletic commission called off the fight. Tito, who had apparently found out how hard Dana was training, and that he was doing very well boxing against much more experienced boxers, decided that he didn’t want to take a chance on getting embarrassed so he didn’t show up to the weigh-ins trying to save as much face as he could.
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