UFC President Dana White recently spoke with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani about his diagnosis with Meniere’s disease this month. White also hinted at possible retirement from the UFC following the conclusion of the company’s broadcast deal with the Fox network.
“Anybody out there who has Meniere’s disease and has dealt with this knows what it’s like, and it sucks. It’s the last thing on Earth I wanted to deal with, with all the other sh-t that we’ve got going on. But it is what it is. And I have it, and I went in for the surgery and the doctor refused to give me the surgery, because he is a doctor and doctors want to treat things. The problem is, only 50 percent of the people respond to the treatment. I tried to explain to him what my life is like, and that I don’t want to be on a 14-hour flight to Brazil and have that ever happen to me again. So I am pushing hardcore for the surgery.
“The problem with the surgery is, surgery is not the cure either. They go in and they cut the nerve inside the ear that controls the equilibrium. So you have to learn how to walk again, you have to learn depth perception, and all these other things. So you have to go through this therapy. I want the surgery. I will have the surgery. It’s just a matter of when now. It’s been a real pain in my ass, this thing. But I will get it fixed, and I will overcome this bullsh-t and move on.”
The Mayo Clinic describes Meniere’s disease as “a disorder of the inner ear that causes spontaneous episodes of vertigo — a sensation of a spinning motion — along with fluctuating hearing loss, ringing in the ear, and a feeling of fullness or pressure in your ear.”
White also addressed recent remarks he’d made that foretold a possible retirement from the UFC later this decade.
“It’s not that I have this plan that I’m out in seven years. I know what the seven-year plan is with this Fox deal, and I think my place in this sport and in this organization … I’ve always known what it was that I wanted to do, and I absolutely know that we’re gonna do it in the next seven years. I know where this thing’s gonna go and where it’s gonna be, and I think that in seven years the sport — the athletes that are competing in this sport, building all the weight classes, doing all the things that need to be done — we’re gonna get this stuff done in the next seven years. And the one goal that we did set out to do was to get this thing in every country. We’re gonna be there in seven years. So I’m not saying ‘Oh, I’m retiring on the day this Fox deal is up,’ or anything like that, but that is kinda what’s on my mind.”
White was asked if his recent illness was an example of his body telling him to slow down — an idea he rejected.
“My body isn’t even going to stop me. I’m gonna get this thing fixed. I’m gonna get this surgery, get past this thing and keep moving on. It’s unfortunate that this happened to me, but this happens to lots of people. Your life isn’t over because you have this thing. I’m gonna beat this.”
The check out the full video interview jump to page 2.