Co-founder and current UFC president Dana White is not only the boss of the American MMA organization, but he’s also the face of it. After being chased out of Boston by the mob, White built an empire of his own in Las Vegas. Here’s the astonishing story of how the 50-year-old became so successful — and how much he’s worth now that he’s on top.
Dana White’s early years
The Manchester, Connecticut native has always been a fight fan and at the time, boxing was the biggest fighting sport out there. After quitting his job as a busboy, White pursued boxing. He didn’t care if he was boxing, managing, or just training people; he just wanted to be a part of it. So, this is what White did — until mobsters tried to shake him down.
White didn’t budge, but the mobsters were serious. After a fateful phone call, he fled Boston and landed in Las Vegas, where he continued pursuing his passion for boxing. There, White learned about the UFC, which was a very new organization at the time. Immediately, he was interested.
Then, in a stroke of luck, White met his childhood friends, the Fertitta brothers, at a wedding. The siblings were somewhat successful, and the trio eventually agreed to do business with one another if an opportunity arises. This chance came when they found out the UFC was in trouble. So, the friends decided to buy the UFC.
Business growth for White
The young businessman had a tough job ahead of him. During this time, the UFC was not recognized as a respectable sports organization. White’s job, first and foremost, was to legitimize the UFC. Not only did this come in the form of more rules and regulations, but it also involved showbiz.
White helped develop The Ultimate Fighter TV show, a reality series about real fighters trying to get a chance to join the UFC. This helped humanize the athletes and spread the word about the organization. Lots of people tuned in to watch the weekly show, which helped the UFC become mainstream.
But White’s most important job was in promotions. He needed to coordinate fights and then convince the world to them. This worked, and millions of people tuned in to watch men like Brock Lesnar and Anderson Silva fight. Ultimately, these big matchups made the UFC as popular as it is today.
Dana White’s net worth
All of White’s hard work paid off when the three men sold the UFC for $4 billion to WME-IMG. The Fertittas left to do their own thing, but White stayed with the UFC after negotiating with his new bosses. His work relationship with WME-IMG seems positive too, as he recently renewed his contract for seven more years, reports MMAFighting.
White’s recent efforts aren’t isolated to just the UFC. After McGregor made himself and the UFC millions by boxing Floyd Mayweather, White started a side-job running the UFC’s brand-new boxing organization, Zuffa Boxing.
On top of that, White has several other commitments, like TV shows Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight and Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. Furthermore, he’s well-known as a high-stakes gambler, making a significant amount of money from that venture, too.
When all’s said and done, White’s net worth, according to Wealthy Gorilla, is over $500 million. With his contract extension though, it will only grow.