Dana White will continue to be the UFC president for years to come but he knows when he leaves, the promotion will be in a much different spot.
White has been with the UFC since 2001 and has brought the promotion from near bankruptcy to being a billion-dollar promotion. He has helped MMA – and subsequently the UFC – enter the mainstream and given that he has been doing it for years many have wondered when he would retire.
Once the Fertitta’s sold the company, many thought that would be his out but White continued to be the president. He says he will be part of the UFC for a while but he knows when he leaves, the UFC will be in a very different spot.
“If and when I ever leave, I mean, the UFC like I said last night to Tucker, got a great team in place,” White said after the Contender Series on Tuesday. “Obviously, hopefully, I’ve built a business that will last many, many years after I’m dead. The UFC will be very different when I’m gone, it’ll be different. It won’t go away.”
When asked if he has a timeline of when he might step away, Dana White said it won’t be for a while as he is here to stay.
“No. Nope, I’m here, unfortunately for you guys, I’m here to stay,” White added.
It shouldn’t be a surprise to see Dana White want to remain with the UFC as he has spoken about how he still loves it, even after doing it for so many years. It is also a change of tune as he admitted when the deal was going through he thought about walking away.
“It was actually a really bad time for me, I didn’t want to do it,” White said to The Pivot Podcast back in May. “The Fertittas were ready to get out and they had a sit down with me. They were basically like, ‘We have everybody in here going through with the deal.’ Everybody was in here kicking the tires looking to buy it. From ESPN to Turner to all these different funds and groups from all over the world. They sat me down and said, ‘We’re gonna sell this thing and we’re ready to go but nobody will take it unless you stay so you have to do this.’
“I was kind of in a weird place because I had done this thing with them, these are my best friends, we’d done it together and I got a little f****d up,” White continued. “I took off for a while, went up into a hotel room, and didn’t come out for a few days. I was a little f****d up over the whole thing. Then I snapped out of it and got my s**t together.”
When do you think Dana White will leave the UFC?