Dana White Explains the Importance of the Staredown
“The two things I love the most in the fight business are the staredown and the fight itself,” UFC president Dana White explained recently at the UFC Fan Expo.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
In many ways, the UFC has revolutionized how MMA operates. A strong example of this is the weigh-in. What had typically been limited to an event with press and media, the UFC transformed into an arena-filling event for fans. They stream it online for millions of viewers, and weigh-ins have even aired live on network television.
Part of this has to do with business: building hype for the fights, expanding the fan-base and allowing fighters even more exposure through interviews at/after the weigh-in. Most of it, however, stems from UFC president Dana White’s love for the sport.
“The two things I love the most in the fight business are the staredown and the fight itself,” White said at the recent UFC Fan Expo.
But beyond White’s personal enjoyment of the pre-fight ritual of opponents staring each other down the day before they are set to fight, the UFC president believes it is a very important thing for the fighters. It is something that can tell you a lot about what will happen in the fight.
“I am such a huge fan of the staredown. And yes, it is one of the most important things leading up the fight… That’s why we ended up making the weigh-ins such a big deal. Because leading up to the fight, the weigh-ins and the staredown tell the story of what’s going to happen on Saturday.
“Is the guy on weight? Is he in shape? Did he cut right? What does he look like in the staredown? Does he look too drawn and dried out, and did he cut too much weight? All htat stuff is important to the fight the next day, and I love it more than anything.”
To put this into context, the most recent weigh-in saw Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman come face to face in their staredown, to the point where they looked as if they had kissed. White later tweeted, “Chris said I’m not afraid of u like everyone else & Anderson said we will see 2morrow.” When tomorrow came, we all saw Weidman knock out Anderson Silva to claim the UFC middleweight belt and officially dethrone the long-standing pound-for-pound king of MMA. The staredown, it seems, told a lot that day.