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Dana White comments on many topics

By Zach Arnold | December 13, 2006

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By Zach Arnold

The Orange County Register posted a news story discussing the results of the UFC Fight Night weigh-ins, along with a lot of multimedia audio clips with press writers interviewing UFC fighters and staff. The biggest interview posted on the site is one with Dana White. Here are some of the things he had to say in the audio interview…

  1. He aims for WEC to become the #2 MMA promotion. As far as a pending HBO deal, UFC will be the league that goes on that channel (not the WEC). White specifically says that he bought the WFA for the contracts, stressing on Quinton Jackson’s name the most. In regards to the Pro Elite deal on Showtime, “Showtime’s got nothing, I don’t see the Showtime thing lasting too long. … They can deal with WEC when their other deal doesn’t work.”
  2. When asked about picking up some of the fighters contracted to both the WFA & the IFL, he said of that problem, “I’ll take care of that, too.”
  3. When asked about UFC’s impact on the MMA market, Dana said, “We are the mark on the market.” When asked about how many PPV buys he thinks Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz will draw on 12/30, he estimated 1.2 million PPV buys.
  4. In regards to buying the WEC: “I liked it and I wanted it. The WEC isn’t going to be looked at a feeder show.” Also in regards to potential UFC/WEC crossover now, “No trading, no swapping, no nothing.” White said that the UFC and WEC will be rivals, competing with each other like the Viacom split. No UFC guys will initially be in the WEC. “Who knows if we do a Super Bowl type thing some day.” (Commentary: This sounds exactly like WWE having both RAW & Smackdown.)
  5. White said he would be meeting with Spike TV officials on Wednesday to fill out the 2007 TV programming calendar. He said that there would be more programming and more fights to come, including “a couple of TUF finales” (meaning at least two more seasons of The Ultimate Fighter in one year). He said that there would be 10-11 PPVs, including 4-5 fights from the UK. He noted the April 7th date in Montreal booked for GSP vs. Matt Hughes. White focused a lot on the Mexican market, talking about TV Azteca airing Ultimate Knockouts 1 & 2 on the network in a studio format and that the networkk will run Tito Ortiz vs. Chuck Liddell countdown shows all week before the NYE weekend fight. White said he was “getting goose bumps” talking about Mexico. In regards to UFC programming, he said that there is so much demand for this (MMA) and “we’re the only ones who know how to do it.”
  6. Dana said he aims to have a couple of shows a year in Canada, building a market in Mexico, and taking UFC on the road a lot by traveling to Texas, the East Coast, and Florida (including a Hollywood, Florida show on January 25th). He said he wants to bring a Fight Night show to Canada and Mexico. He concluded by saying that Southern California will always be a hotbed for UFC.

Topics: All Topics, Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 15 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

15 Responses to “Dana White comments on many topics”

  1. monkeymatt says:

    Like him or hate him, he owns MMA in America… Scary thought.

    Still, monopoly is not such a bad thing I suppose… Pride had a virtual monopoly on large-scale MMA in Japan for years, and produced consistently great shows (for the most part.)

  2. Zach Arnold says:

    You are a great man for finding the direct link for me, John. I hate those Macromedia flash players.

  3. PizzaChef says:

    Sorry for stating the obvious but running both the WEC and UFC as different “brands” might be a hassel for Zuffa unless they turn WEC into a feeder group.

    You’re going to have a bunch of fighters in WEC that want to jump ship to the UFC cause that’s where most of the exposure is and most of the fighters there dream of fighting for the UFC, thus making “interpromotional matches” unavoidable. Plus I think the WEC would be hard to market since the casual fan wouldn’t know what the WEC is and won’t buy tickets for their shows unless they have big names.

    Eh sorry if I’m not making sense….Getting sleepy…

  4. […] If you want to read a nice summary about what’s included in the interviews visit […]

  5. JThue says:

    Nice FU to Sakakibara with the Superbowl-comment 🙂

  6. Mr. Roadblock says:

    UFC barely has enough talent to run the shows they are running right now and fill cards with interesting fights. And right now they’ve been bringing in guys from WEC left and right. I don’t see how they plan to run both groups as big time events.

    Unless WEC becomes a lighterweight promotion like DEEP and maybe has a Super Heavyweight division.

    The other option is to sign guys to 2-3 year WEC contracts, let them develop there and then when that contract is up sign them to a UFC 3-fight deal or whatever.

    Dana is hinting at a very busy calendar for UFC in 2007. They are going to need a lot of fresh talent coming in. Right now the only matches to look forward to with current talent is the 3-5 marquee 170lb fights: GSP/Hughes II, each of those guys vs BJ, Karo or Diego and the winners fight.

    Vera vs Sylvia is marginally interesting. If Vera wins you have some options, matching him up with Arlovski if Arlovski wins Dec 30th.

    Chuck vs QJ is the only 205lb fight that is at all interesting on the horizon. That’s a fight I really want to see.

    155 you’ve got some fights that could end up real good but nothing to get super excited about. Sherk/BJ, Sherk/Serra, Serra/BJ. Spencer Fischer might develop into a real interesting fighter and some of those ohter guys too.

    There is nothing for Anderson Silva right now. Maybe him vs Lindland in one of the UK shows?

    UFC needs CroCop bad. Sign him that’s 3 main events.

    Dana sounds like he’s talking about running 14 – 15 events next year. That’s 75+ Televised fights.

  7. […] If you want to read nice summaries about what’s included in the Dana White interview visit and […]

  8. whaledog says:

    I think we’d all agree that “humble” and “classy” are the two words that best describe Dana White. Congratulations Dana!

  9. MMA T-Shirts says:

    This is definitely Smackdown vs Raw, as someone on sherdog posted a few days back.

    PizzaChef, you would really suck as a businessman. The whole point of it is interpromotional matchups… build up two champions which casual fans wont be able to pick between cos they’re dumb, then have them fight at a super event. Basically like what we want between Pride and UFC but with slightly lower class fighters.

    In terms of marketing both shows, that will be absolutely no problem whatsoever.

    Literally this is WWE to the book. That makes me uneasy but potentially it could lead to better matchups – we will have to see. I have a feeling that as an MMA fan I am going to get teased by the UFC quite a lot in the future …. will they / won’t they fight!?!?!?! whoever “they” might be.

  10. “The WEC isn’t going to be looked at a feeder show.” Key emphasis on ‘looked at’ which i’m assuming is to say they won’t be treating it like a second rate org. However, I’m willing to bet big money that WEC is going to become the equivilant of the OHL and AHL, where fighters that aren’t quite ready for the UFC go for seasoning before the big show.

  11. Psygone says:

    Farm system de facto.

  12. Amy Robinson says:

    I don’t know about the whole RAW/Smackdown type deal with the UFC and WEC,mostly becuase ever since the WWE has instituted the two brand system their popularity has plummeted.

    The UFC should be focused on trying to make and keep the UFC brand as the #1 promotion in MMA, and not try to bring another company into the mix, when they still haven’t quite fully cornered the top spot for their first brand yet.

    WEC, is better off to be run as a feeder org. for them. They can still get a TV deal and have good cards running the promotion like that, and then they won’t be locked into any kind of brand restrictions with the fighters. They can bring the top talent from the WEC into the UFC for bigger match ups, and have a solid way of developing younger fighters before bringing them up into the more compeitive UFC ranks.

  13. oMMAbudsman says:

    The whole idea of creating a super event is overrated. Most of the casual fans now driving the MMA market aren’t even aware of Pride or Cage Rage so why would they want to see a cross-promotional event. This is only something that gets that fanboys excited.

    The Smackdown/Raw comparison also doesn’t make much sense because there aren’t any people trying to get into the pro-wrestling business other than TNA.

    As other experts have pointed out before, there’s only so many TV deals that will be available for MMA orgs and I think Dana White is trying to monopolize the market with the WEC. I’m not sure this is a great idea, but that’s the only business logic that makes any sense. I’m not sure what White meant when he said this was like “Viacom”.


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