UFC's Dana White on Alcoholic Dad, Donald Trump, the Mob, John McCain & New York

White discusses why the new deal with Fox Sports means so much to him, his worldwide expansion plans for The Ultimate Fighting Championship and how his aggressive personality has helped the company grow to what it is today.
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I recently sat down with UFC President Dana White for an episode of "In Depth." White discusses why the new deal with Fox Sports means so much to him, his worldwide expansion plans for The Ultimate Fighting Championship and how his aggressive personality has helped the company grow to what it is today. He describes the struggle of changing the image of the UFC when he and his partners first took over the company. White also gets personal, talking about his alcoholic father, the stunt that got him kicked out of school and how the mob in Boston played a role in him coming to Vegas.


Dana White on the importance of the new UFC deal with Fox: "If you stacked 'em all up on top of each other, this one blows them all away." Watch clip:

White started a business in Boston training people to box in local health clubs. He says once mobster Whitey Bulger got word of his success, he wanted a cut. White says they were threatening him and it forced him to get out of Boston and head to Vegas: "I got a phone call and they basically told me 'We Want the Money", and I said 'I don't have the money'... So I literally, that day, I bought a plane ticket and came to Vegas." Watch clip:

Dana White shares how he and his sister spent a lot of time alone as children of divorced parents. His mother worked long hours and his father was an alcoholic. He recalls a day when he was nine years old and his father showed up to take him and his sister out: "So one day he shows up drunk out of his mind and he's taking us to the movies. That was a fun ride." White also shares a comical story of the stunt that got him expelled from school. It involved a daily prank he would play on one of the teachers and how he finally got caught. Watch clip:

Dana White discusses buying the UFC from its previous owner for $2 million. He says what they got was almost nothing: "You know what we got for two million bucks? The letters U-F-C and an old wooden octagon." White also explains why he spent the first three years on the phone with people yelling, "Fu** you, Fu** you, Fu** you!" White says the previous owner had sold everything to keep the UFC alive, so it was completely stripped down: "We didn't even own UFC.com. UFC.com used to be user-friendly computers." Watch clip:

Dana White explains the relationship with his partners (brothers Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta): "We're definitely the guys that love it, are passionate about it, and have the road map for where this thing is going to go." "Somebody else could come in and buy it [the UFC].... I just couldn't see myself, uh, I don't know , I don't know if I could see myself doing it without them [the Fertittas]." White also discusses the early years owning the UFC and losing too much money causing his partners (the majority owners) to ask him to go out to find offers to sell the UFC: "The thought of failing, number two the thought of I'm the one that came up this idea, I'm the one that wanted to do this and now I just lost my friends, 30 something million bucks." Watch clip:

Dana White discusses the UFC's big plans for expansion including deals in China and India which would put the Ultimate Fighting Championship in more than a billion homes worldwide. White offers his thoughts on New York preventing the UFC from having fights in the state: "New York needs UFC worse than the UFC needs New York right now... We will get into New York." Watch clip:

Dana White says his aggressive nature is both a positive and a negative trait: "The PR people don't tell me what to say. I'm their biggest nightmare... You know what you get with me. If I said it, I mean it and that's it." Watch clip:

Dana White compares how safe the UFC is as a sport to that of the NFL and boxing: "In terms of safety, how would I compare the UFC to badminton or cheerleading. In the 18-year history, even back in the crazy days when you were talking about groin shots and head-butting and everything else, there's never been a death or serious injury in the UFC. I don't know what other sports can say that." Watch clip:

Dana White responds to critics who say the UFC fighters should be paid more money: "If I told you what the top salaries are with our stars, you'd be blown away.... We are on par with all the other sports leagues out there. The most amazing part is, we've only been here for ten years." Watch clip:

Dana White discusses how Donald Trump gave the UFC the league's first major opportunity at Trump's Taj Mahal: "Donald Trump, again, you know, say what you want about him, the guy saw this thing coming, was into it, and gave us our first shot and you'll never hear me say anything bad about Trump." Watch clip:

Dana White explains why he agrees with Senator John McCain that the UFC used to be like human cockfighting. Watch clip:

Dana White on MMA fighters Georges St. Pierre, Fedor Emelyanenko, and Brock Lesnar. Watch clip:

The Dana White episode (the clips contain bonus content unable to make the full episode due to time constraints). Watch episode:

Graham Bensinger's Facebook page is facebook.com/GrahamBensinger and his website is GrahamBensinger.com. Email Graham at Graham@TheGBShow.com.

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