Dana White hasn’t spoken too much about his post-UFC life, keeping most of the focus on the octagon and the events going on inside of it.
His company has afforded him that opportunity with blockbuster pay-per-view cards, including the recent Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor rematch, thus stealing the headlines away from the $4 billion transaction Yahoo! reported on in early July.
But when White recently appeared on the UFC Unfiltered podcast, he pulled back the curtain a bit and revealed that the decision to sell UFC — and its aftermath — left him feeling “f***ed up” over his ex-business partners.
— mma jabberjaw (@mmajabberjaw) July 19, 2016
Dana White, in an uncharacteristically emotional tone, shared how he’s been doing since the Fertitta Brothers — Lorenzo and Frank — sold the company to WME/IMG, stating that he was “really f***ed up and emotional about the Fertittas, you know?”
“We’d been together for 20 years,” he explained. “It was tough on me. It was really weird. If you’d have told me it would have been this way, I’d have thought you were nuts. But it did. It really f***ed me up, man.”
White said that the decision the Fertittas made to sell — a decision that left the UFC President $360 million richer — actually bummed him out.
“People had taken runs at us a lot of times,” White said. “Big numbers and all this other stuff, and it never happened. As this started getting closer to becoming a reality, I don’t think I really believed it, and didn’t really come to terms with it. And then when it happened, it hit me in a way that I would have never imagined.”
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Dana White then explained that he went to his hotel room and “didn’t sleep or eat for two days.”
“And there was a lot more to the story that I’d rather not get into, but it f***ed me up really bad,” he added.
White made it clear throughout the podcast that the Fertittas — Lorenzo especially — were two of the best men he’d ever known and that it was going to be difficult continuing the company without them. That was a reality that hit home on the first PPV after the sale, White said.
And even though he misses his old business partners, the outspoken executive has no plans to retire, even after his five years with WME/IMG are complete.
— BloodBathMMA (@BloodBath_MMA) July 12, 2016
“I’m not going anywhere bro,” Dana White told podcast host Jim Norton. “Listen, you have to do some type of a deal when you do a deal. It was a five-year deal. I would have signed a 55-year deal. I’m not going anywhere. I love this s**t, and I love taking it to the next level and love building and creating more opportunity for everybody. This is where I’m staying.”
Of course, not everyone has been happy with White. Recently, fighter Cung Le said in comments reported by SB Nation that it was “wrong” that Dana White made more money on the sale of UFC than “all the fighters in UFC history combined.”
White had a 9 percent stake in the company when it closed at a sale price of $4.2 billion.
What do you think about Dana White, readers? How much of the UFC’s success is his doing? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Image via UFC]