UFC President Dana White claims the UFC has never been bigger, despite the numerous challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
White says the recent UFC 251 card, which went down as the most successful pay-per-view since UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor in 2018, was a key indicator of the UFC’s success.
“The brand has never been bigger or stronger than it is right now,” White said ahead of UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Ige (transcript via MMA Fighting). “I mean if you look at the ratings and the amount of promotion. I don’t know if you guys felt it like we felt it, but you had to feel in your business. My personal social media was off the charts, the biggest numbers that I’ve ever pulled, ever.
“UFC’s social media numbers are off the charts. The traffic,” White. “The merchandise, we’ve already sold more merchandise this year than we did all of 2019. We already crushed that number from 2019. The list goes on and on.”
White continued, explaining that even without fans and ticket sales, 2020 is still shaping up to be a massive year for the UFC.
“Obviously, in a lot of ways this has affected our business,” White said. “There’s no gate. That’s $110 million dollars – in that ball park – and some other things. But we’re still rolling.”
The UFC has benefitted hugely from being one of the only sports organizations operating during the coronavirus pandemic. White suggested he’s seen a spike in viewership and engagement, as fans of other sports tune into UFC events to get their sporting fix.
“You have to look at the value that’s being built in the brand,” White said. “The amount of people that you’re probably converting to be fans that probably never watched before and the list goes on and on.
“It’s impossible for it not to be good,” White said. “It’s all a good thing. There’s more people that are aware of this sport than ever before, and not just in the United States, but globally.”
What do you think of the way Dana White has been guiding the UFC through the coronavirus pandemic?