Dana Frederick White Jr is the current president of the UFC with a net worth of 500 Million Dollars. He was awarded the Nevada Sportsman of the Year award in 2009 and was awarded the Patriot Award by the Armed Forces Foundation.
Dana White started training in boxing at the age of 17 and became a boxercise coach in Ware, Massachusetts after, dropping out of college.
He left Boston in 1995 after being threatened by Irish mobster Whitey Bulger for $2500. Dana didn't pay the cash and instead relocated to Las Vegas for safety. White continued to work in the boxing scene and started managing some MMA fighters like Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell.
The turning point in Dana's life while he was managing Chuck Liddell. Dana saw that the UFC was unable to pay a big fight pay to big-name fighters like Liddell and understood the company's financial weakness. White contacted and convinced his childhood friend, Lorenzo Fertitta, to buy the UFC. Lorenzo and his brother Frank bought the company in January of 2001 for $2 Million and made Dana the UFC President.
Dana White UFC
Dana transformed the UFC from a cash-strapped organization to an MMA behemoth. Under his command, the UFC fights got Sanctioned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the sport recognition from all the major state athletic boards.
Dana created The Ultimate Fighter in 2005, a reality TV show where prospects fought for a 6-figure UFC contract. He got the show on Spike TV and, it was the success of The Ultimate Fighter that led to a boom in MMA popularity.
Under Dana, the UFC bought out its competition like Strikeforce (in 2011), Pride FC(in 2007), and World Extreme Cagefighting (in 2010) to increase UFC's dominance and to get the talents of the promotions.
Dana further legitimized the sport by getting a broadcast Deal with Fox in 2011 and by signing an official Gear Sponsorship with Reebok deal in 2014
His decision to continue UFC events during the COVID pandemic lockdown in 2020 helped bring more eyes to the sport and increased the UFC fanbase.
White has transformed the UFC from a cash-strapped company in the early 2000s to a multi-billion dollar MMA organization in 2020.
Dana White Other Ventures
Dana White has dabbled into other fields besides the UFC throughout his career. In 2017, he co-promoted the Mayweather-McGregor boxing fight. He also started Dana White's Contender Series (Formerly Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series) that is different from the UFC but allows fighters to fight to get a UFC contract offer.