UFC brass Dana White has been baited by critics who believe that the UFC promotion is in dreadful financial straits. Boxing promoter Bob Arum, for one, says White is betting into boxing because the UFC is “cratering.”
(PPV) Sales haven’t been as great in past years when the UFC had big-time draws such as Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey, Jon Jones and Brock Lesnar leading the box-office charge but that doesn’t mean the promotion is in financial trouble. 2017 was a much slower year for the UFC. Conor McGregor didn’t fight at all, GSP fought and went on to re-retirement mode post-fight and may not fight again per Dana white.
Dana White recently spoke to ESPN, there’s no reason for alarm. In fact, the UFC is still doing great business – such that WME-IMG is apparently pretty pleased with their investment.
“WME-IMG Endeavor bought us for $4 billion, and obviously they need to hit certain numbers for the banks,” White told ESPN on Monday. “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.”
”(WME 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,” speaking on people’s questions about the UFC’s financial situation. “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.”
White then brought up the promotions involvement in Floyd Mayweather and Conor Mcgregor boxing match past August, where Mayweather TKO McGregor in the tenth round.
It certainly didn’t hurt to have a stake from this mega fight, it would have been a tremendous year even if that super fight hadn’t happened.
“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 discussed that their deal with Fox is nearing its expiration date, and UFC is actively in talks with TV channels about a new deal for broadcasting.
“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.”
”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.”