Earlier this week, UFC President Dana White and English boxing promoter Eddie Hearn crossed paths in Las Vegas. A photo of this meeting — shared to both of their Twitter accounts — caused a geyser of speculation on social media.
Were they meeting to discuss White’s Zuffa boxing venture? Could one of Hearn’s boxers be crossing over to the UFC? The questions were endless…
As it turns out — and as is so often the case — this meeting was little more than happenstance.
Eddie Hearn was at the UFC Performance Institute, because that’s where Daniel Jacobs is making the final preparations for his Saturday night showdown with Canelo Alvarez. White was there with his son. The two promoters met, chatted, and posed for a photo op. That’s about it.
“It’s blown up. Do you know what? All it was, was I went to the UFC training center because that’s where Danny’s [Jacobs] been training,” Hearn told Fight Hype. “Dana’s son was hitting the pads and Dana came out and started watching it. I’m a massive Dana White fan. I don’t want to sound like a fanboy but I have massive respect for what the UFC have done. I’ll be honest, a lot of things we do are based around the success of what the UFC have done. So I went over, introduced myself to him, we spoke. He had the courtesy to take me to his other building across the road where they’re going to be doing live shows.
“Listen, him and the UFC business is hugely motivational to what I do. I realize what we created is nowhere near yet at the level of that the UFC have created as a business. And it’s highly inspirational for me to be around people like that and be around a business like that to show me that we have a long way.”
Needless to say Eddie Hearn has a lot of admiration for Dana White — though it doesn’t sound like they’ll be doing business together any time soon.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/2/2019.