White Claims UFC Is Hitting Estimates
More than two years into the $4.2 billion dollar sale to WME-IMG, UFC President Dana White, is confident that the company is moving in the right direction following a lack of Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor fights in 2017.
White insists that 2017 was a massive success for the UFC and that business is flourishing.
“WME-IMG Endeavor bought us for $4 billion, and obviously they need to hit certain numbers for the banks,” White told ESPN. “Right now, I’m spending another $1 million (at UFC’s Las Vegas headquarters) on another wing I want. That’s how bad of a year we’re having.”
”(Endeavor CEO) Ari Emanuel wants to buy the building next door and build more s**t. We’re still growing.”
“I think the (2016) sale has everything to do with it,” White continued, speaking to the perception of how the UFC’s business is doing. “Everybody is looking at that $4 billion sale and asking, ‘Did they deliver?’
“F**k yeah, we delivered. We deliver every single year. And still, every year, if you listen to the media, we’re f**ked.”
One reason that White points to for a successful 2017 was the promotion’s involvement in the Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather boxing match in August. And even without the fight, White claims the company would have still exceeded an estimate.
“Who cares if it was a boxing match?” White said. “Do you think we knew Floyd Mayweather was going to fight Conor McGregor in 2017? F**k no. We still had our year lined out, a budget and everything else.
”This is the fight business. You have no f**king idea what’s going to happen. If that fight hadn’t happened, Conor would have fought twice in the UFC and who knows who he would have fought or the fights it would have set up. This s**t doesn’t just happen. We create this s**t.”
White expects the UFC brand to have plenty of leverage once it comes to negotiating a new television deal.
“It’s getting more interesting by the minute,” White said. “ESPN buys Fox Sports’ (regional sports networks), which the UFC is perfect for. And you look at FOX, they have a load of cash from the (sale to Disney). You’ve got powerhouses like Amazon, Netflix and YouTube.”
With this advantage, and the backing of WME-IMG, White is looking to make the transition into promoting boxing in 2018 and score top talent in this new pivot.
he UFC’s history that White thinks will allow him to attract top talent to his promotions.
“Whoever an athlete is, I don’t care who it is, I want to fly you to Las Vegas and we’re going to meet,” White said. “I’m going to walk you through this new facility, show you the gym, the trainers, all the amenities. Free supplements, physical therapy, we’ll cook your food exactly how you like it three times per day. You’ll get health insurance.”
”Who can offer you a better deal than me in combat sports? F**k boxing, MMA, whatever it is. Who can offer a better deal than me? The answer is nobody. This is what we do. Keep doubting us.”