Virtually every MMA fan know who Dana White is—and the controversy which follows him everywhere.
Like him or loathe him, it appears that Dana is here to stay. And while most MMA fans are aware that Dana played a big part in salvaging the UFC organization, thus turning it into a mega-million-dollar industry, many of those MMA fans avoid the UFC in favor of other MMA organizations.
One thing is for sure: The UFC is the most recognized Mixed Martial Arts title in the world. And, for the most part, they have the best fighters in the world.
But the UFC is far from being glitch-free. And I wonder whether or not Dana is aware of the problems - or if he even cares.
This is part one—five of the ten MMA questions I would ask Dana White.
(1) Will you ever relax the contractual obligations of your fighters?
The UFC fans have been denied intriguing match-ups between UFC fighters and those from other top-tier MMA organizations.
For instance, the UFC has some sure-bet monster heavyweight new-comers who, after a few more fights, might be serious contenders to defeat Fedor Emelianenko. I see a huge PPV windfall for the UFC, especially if Joe Silva can bring a championship co-main event to the card.
(2) You’ve taken a position that women won’t ever fight in the UFC – what will it take to alter that position?
Marketing investments would make female MMA fighters UFC-worthy for sure. Dana can market a 39-year-old guy who lost four out of his last five fights to headline a UFC event, yet he denies women even the chance to showcase their skills in the octagon. What possible reasons can there be to deny a venue for highly motivated & well-trained MMA athletes?
(3) As front man and part owner of the UFC, every move you make is scrutinized by the media. Are you comfortable with the image you’ve created?
Whether his public outbursts and expletive-laden tirades are part of a “tell it like it is” persona he continues to cultivate or a deliberate marketing ploy, his behavior will be the moving force for the 30-and over consumer bracket to turn their collective back on the UFC product. Most younger UFC fans seem to have no problem with White's now-signature controversial rantings. When social activist groups publicly object to bald-faced verbal abuse, are they are being overly sensitive? Are they even entitled to challenge Dana's right to freedom of speech?
(4) Which MMA rules and regulations would you change… which would you eliminate?
I wonder what, if anything, Dana would change to benefit the UFC as a whole. He seems satisfied that the UFC rules are effective regarding the fighters’ safety. Dana is probably too rigid to consider adjusting the UFC rounds system like the former Pride round structure. I’ll bet a ten-minute first round and a five-minute second round would spruce things up. And, what the hell—toss in a third five-minute round for championship fights. Here’s a regulation change: An occasional UFC tournament format, instead of the same stale fight-card structure? Get creative, Dana!
(5) Many MMA fans think the UFC is becoming too boxing-like in both atmosphere and guiding principle. Why do you think that is?
Some UFC fans think it’s time for a super heavyweight class. Brock Lesnar’s size pretty much started the ball rolling on that one. I believe that the UFC already has too many weight classes—that the game is watered down enough as it is. UFC fighters feel less inclined to work the ground game than they used to. And since the fans are paying to see slugfests and knockouts, of course Dana wants the same thing as well.
Boxers get greased pretty heavily. Now there’s proof that some UFC fighters have too much grease applied— and that some fighters inconspicuously spread it on their arms and legs. Obviously, greasing a fighter’s face helps to prevent cuts. But greasy limbs facilitate escaping submission attempts—while Dana looks the other way.
I'll close off here ... not only to allow Mr. White the opportunity to digest my questions & frame his responses, but to also prepare for our next round of the interview. Stay tuned.