Dana White has built one of the biggest hand-to-hand combat organizations in history. He’s brought in blockbuster names and outlasted many companies, such as WEC and Pride. But it isn’t always exactly what the fans want. White could easily be viewed as greedy and very egotistical, but he does one thing well, and that’s make money.
When the company was reaching a low and most of the greats were aging out. (Matt Hughes, BJ Penn, and Tito Ortiz for example) Dana went out and brought in a mouthy “fake” wrestler in Brock Lesnar. He had one fight under his belt, but was convincing enough for Dana to give him elite competition in Frank Mir. Mir submitted Lesnar in controversy, but Dana kept pushing his loudmouth brute down fans throats to make sure he had an enemy. Gave him Heath Herring. Brock won by decision, but was given and automatic title shot against Randy Couture.
There were plenty of proven heavyweights, including Mir, but Dana, being who he is, wanted his money guy to be mainstream. The same happened with Jon Jones, George St Pierre, and these days its Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor. Fans asked for super fights between Anderson Silva and St. Pierre or Jon Jones, but he wasn’t interested in letting the fighters fight for more than one belt. Now McGregor has a formidable opponent he hasn’t faced, in Frankie Edgar, and White is open to let McGregor fight for the Lightweight Championship while holding the Featherweight.
During the Lesnar era, White ran into competition with Strikeforce. These were mainly UFC castoffs that went against the Dana White way. Nick Diaz was probably the biggest name. When Strikeforce started getting more and more press coverage, White pulled the trigger and bought the company. Instead of combining the company and give the fans dream matchups such as Diaz vs St Pierre in their primes, he signed a deal with Showtime to suck up all the money until it wasn’t worth it anymore. So fighters in their prime like Alistair Overeem missed out on big fights with household names. Who wouldn’t have loved to seen Shane Carwin vs Overeem. But Dana didnt hurt cause he was making money. Same happened when he first bought WEC years earlier cause he wasn’t open to the lighter classes.
In 2011, White stated women would never fight in the UFC. Now he crams Ronda down our throat. He is even willing to skip the number 1 contender again to give Rousey an automatic rematch. Is it what the fans want? Probably. But is it fair to Meisha Tate whom Holly Holm already leapfrogged? White doesnt care. McGregor will most likely fight for the Lightweight belt. It doesnt matter we missed out on St Pierre vs Silva in their prime. It matters this is the fight his biggest name is asking for.
White obviously makes the fight that he thinks will sell. Fans didn’t want Brock to have his title fight, but they paid millions to watch him possibly lose. Edgar has worked hard for the UFC, and will probably get overlooked to finally do a superfight while we missed out on ones years ago. Dana is the definition of a hypocrite, but without his pride and ego the UFC may have very well fallen off when it was considered “barbaric.” Dana White us fans can’t stand you, but my man we applaud you for keeping the sport alive.