Dana White Ecstatic Over UFC Fanbase Growth, And Doesn’t Plan To Stop
UFC President Dana White – once again – said that he doesn’t regret keeping the UFC open during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
White boasted that the UFC’s fanbase has grown over 40%. In 2021, the promotion has put on sold-out pay-per-view shows in five different states.
“Our fanbase has grown over 40% just this year. How about that?” White proudly told ESPN. “You take the fact that we went through the pandemic with… we’ve obviously been putting on great fights and the fights are incredible. The live event is incredible. There’s a lot of other things that go into what makes us successful.”
“I knew there was a way to figure this out. Abu Dhabi was already testing. They had tests for COVID. Why did we not have tests for COVID, and how do we do it? How do we get them? How do we make this thing work? But the bigger issue at that time was finding a venue that would carry the event.”
After the NBA had its first player test positive for Covid-19 in early March, the league shutdown. This was the first domino effect for other sports including the MLB and NHL. The NFL carried on with its games, but there were no fans present.
“When you look at it, a lot of these leagues and businesses and whatever it might be were all trying to reopen in 2021. We never shut down,” White added.
“We were already rolling through 2020 and then right into 2021. Once we did the first show and we started to roll, I never looked back.”
The world has once again been struck with a highly contagious virus, but this time it’s Omicron, a strain of Covid-19, which is the cause of more than 70% of new cases, according to the CDC.
More than dozens of NBA and NFL players have gone into Covid-19 protocols, delaying games. Meanwhile, White seems to plan to push through once again.
“We’re gonna break the record in California. The biggest gate ever in the history of California was $3.2 million,” he said. “This next gate (UFC 270) is gonna be $5 million. We’re coming out of a global pandemic, and we’re breaking every record we’ve ever had.”
UFC 270 is set for January 22 in California.
“We’re not just breaking them. We’re shattering them. It’s almost double the biggest gate ever.”