Dana White has fired some verbal shots at the sport of boxing as he seeks to put on a UFC fight at the Sphere in Las Vegas.
The UFC CEO has spoken about his intention to put on a fight on Mexican Independence Day at the Sphere in what would be the first time that a combat sport has done so. And yet, at the same time, as we have reported previously, Oscar De La Hoya has teased a similar idea. This would be part of a potential Super Bowl weekend card that could involve Eddie Hearn and Bob Arum.
“I was at the sphere opening, and I cannot tell you how f——- amazing it is. Imagine Super Bowl weekend, the Super Bowl of boxing…Promoters, Eddie Hearn, Al Haymon, Bob Arum, whoever is out there, let’s come together. I’m calling you out. Let’s come together. Let’s meet. The power of the minds and come up with something, because boxing can die. I’m calling you all out. Let’s do this,” De La Hoya
Despite this being the case, White has questioned whether the sport of boxing can make it happen.
“These boxing guys are calling them up going, ‘Oh, we want to do a fight over there.’ Those f——- guys. They’re not going to spend the money to put a f——- show on there. Those guys can’t even do f——- replays for Christ’s sake. They think they’re going to f——- put on an event at the Sphere?
“I will put on the greatest live combat sports event anybody has ever seen at the Sphere in September for Mexican Independence Day. I f——- guarantee it. Boxing is going to f——- around with them on the tickets. They don’t have the money to do it. None of those bums got the money to do it. I’ll do it,” White said
White had shown the UFC’s pulling power on Mexican Independence Day with the success of this year’s UFC Noche. Valentina Shevchenko and Alexa Grasso were involved in a controversial split draw. Mike Bell’s 10-8 scorecard in favor of Grasso in the last round prevented a win for Shevchenko. In the aftermath, there were calls for a rematch as the viewing figures reached over a million.
“Let me tell you this text I got today. Hey Dana, your idea to go all in on Mexican Independence Day paid off. Noche UFC was the most watched Fight Night of all time on ESPN plus. 1.1 million unique views. 1.1 million people that had never been to ESPN plus tuned in for that fight. So think about that. It generated 167 million total minutes and it did 3x the average viewership minutes watched on the Spanish feed. Killed it. It was an incredible success,” White stated
And provided that White does similar numbers again on Mexican Independence Day, then UFC fights at the Sphere may be a sign of things to come.