5 UFC Legends who can replace Dana White as the company's president

Which UFC Legend could one day replace Dana White?
Which UFC Legend could one day replace Dana White?
Ivan Derrick

Dana White has been UFC president since the 2001 Zuffa takeover. He remains incredibly important in MMA and can be found at the vast majority of global UFC events.

Over the past 20 years, the UFC's value has exploded from two million to over four billion dollars. Dana White has been instrumental in this, and while his tactics are often controversial, few can question his success as a businessman.

“When you think about it we haven’t even scratched the surface yet of how big this thing can be.” - Dana White on the UFC's supposed $7 billion value

At the same time, there have certainly been some questionable moments during his tenure as president. White has often been vocal in criticizing his fighters, and the issue of fighter pay is one that continues to follow him.

In any case, White isn't going anywhere soon as he signed a seven-year extension in 2019. He could easily continue past that, but when he does step aside from his role it will leave a huge void.

Here are five UFC legends who might have the necessary experience, intelligence and connections to lead the UFC as president in a post-Dana White era:

#5. Meisha Tate

Tate currently holds a record of 19-7
Tate currently holds a record of 19-7

While some may find Tate a surprising choice given she is active on the UFC roster, she does have ingredients that could make her a good fit. During Tate's first "retirement," she served as Vice President at ONE Championship.

Miesha Tate is obviously a very recognizable face to UFC fans. She became well-known during her rivalry with former UFC superstar Ronda Rousey, and her eventual rise to becoming the UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion.

Her experience working as a vice president at a major mixed martial arts organization in ONE Championship is particularly significant. During that time, she learned what the role of company president entailed.

One question mark with Tate, however, is whether she would want to jump from her successful career as a fighter, right back to such an important role behind the scenes.

Tate picked up a TKO win in her last fight and is currently the #8 ranked bantamweight.

Welcome back, Miesha Tate. She TKOs Marion Reneau in the third. Her first win since her UFC 196 title win over Holly Holm in March 2016.

#4. Forrest Griffin

Griffin finished his career with a record of 19-7
Griffin finished his career with a record of 19-7

Forrest Griffin, like UFC president Dana White, can be credited as someone who played a large part in the company becoming as big as it is today. Even Dana White himself acknowledged that Griffin's bout with Stephen Bonnar was the "most important fight in UFC history."

That fight was huge for the sport as it propelled the UFC into the mainstream. Griffin went on to have a very successful career with the UFC and even won the UFC light heavyweight championship in 2008.

7 years ago today.From Ultimate Fighter to UFC ChampionForrest Griffin vs. Rampage

Griffin makes a good deal of sense as a potential candidate. He has a great relationship with Dana and the rest of the UFC brass and currently serves as the Vice President of Athlete Development at the UFC performance institute in Las Vegas.

#3. Daniel Cormier

Cormier finished his career with a record of 22-3 (1NC)
Cormier finished his career with a record of 22-3 (1NC)

The way Daniel Cormier has transitioned from heavyweight champion into a company man has been nothing short of astonishing. His success in this area is what caused this debate after Dustin Poirier hinted ‘DC’ would be a good fit for UFC president.

Dustin Poirier suggests Daniel Cormier could one day replace Dana White as the UFC president 👇…

Cormier certainly has a number of things going for him as a former two-division champion. He’s popular with fans and fighters alike and the UFC clearly have trust in him given the opportunities he’s been given since his retirement.

However, there are a number of fairly obvious differences between DC and Dana White that may make you question just how good a fit he is. It would certainly be interesting to see whether Cormier would be able to make the tough, unpopular decisions when needed.

For the man that is known for being a “good guy”, could DC be “too nice” to be UFC president?

#2. Rich Franklin

Franklin finished his career with a record of 29-7 (1NC)
Franklin finished his career with a record of 29-7 (1NC)

While Rich Franklin is a former UFC middleweight champion and a hall of famer, he likely gets talked about less these days than some of the other names on this list. That certainly does not mean he's removed himself from the fight business.

Franklin may be the most qualified name on this list, given he is currently serving as the Vice President for ONE championship. Given just how close this is to Dana's role with the UFC, one can only think Franklin would be a strong candidate.

Former UFC champion Rich Franklin officially the vice president of ONE FC via @MMAFighting

On top of this, the connections Franklin has made at ONE championship could help the UFC as president moving forward. After all, it wasn't all that long ago when the UFC traded Demetrious Johnson to ONE in exchange for Ben Askren.

#1. Chael Sonnen

Sonnen finished his career with a record of 31-17-1
Sonnen finished his career with a record of 31-17-1

While many may see this pick and chuckle to themselves about how outlandish every press conference would be with Chael Sonnen as UFC president, there is a little more to it than that.

Sonnen, after all, has founded and run his own promotion in Submission Underground for over 5 years. While that may be a smaller scale operation than the UFC, Sonnen will have gained significant experience from that venture.

Chael Sonnen to launch 'Submission Underground' grappling event series (@SBNLukeThomas)…

On top of that, Sonnen has shown he is a great mind in the sport and he is obviously very comfortable on camera. If Sonnen could harness the self-promotional skills he showcased as a fighter and instead use that to promote the UFC as a brand, he could excel in the role.

live poll LIVE POLL

Q. Who would make the better UFC president?

Daniel Cormier

Chael Sonnen

57 votes so far

Edited by C. Naik


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