As much as business plays a factor into the fight game, UFC President Dana White does have personal relationships with many of the fighters that step into the Octagon that put their well-being on the line for the sake of competition, making money for themselves and for the UFC company.
When Ronda Rousey lost at UFC 193 by a devastating head kick knockout served by Holly Holm, it was evident that Dana White was crushed. Pundits and critics could see the dollar signs evaporating from Rousey like sweat, alluding to the reason White looked so pale.
In an interview with ESPN Radio, White revealed a big reason why he was so grim after Holm delivered the knockout heard around the world (transcribed by MMAMania):
“To be completely honest, it’s been pretty well known, two people that I’ve been close to in my career are Chuck Liddell and Ronda Rousey,” White told ESPN Radio. “I knew Holly Holm was the real deal, but to see somebody you care about lose the way that she did, it’s tough to watch.”
White went on to say that although he has had friendships with many fighters that have fought for him, Liddell and Rousey are the two that he has really grown personal with. White mentioned that Liddell would often go to his house for Christmas and holidays.
When you look at it from the business side of things added with the personal friendship involved, the two factors just compound to deliver a head kick Dana White felt himself that night of UFC 193.