What The F**k Is Dana White Fighting For? I’m not sure Erik Hedegaard, writing in Rolling Stone, answers the question, but I still find mainstream-media coverage of mixed martial arts interesting:
The way things are going, Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, may soon be hailed as the greatest sports promoter ever, of all time, bigger even than boxing’s Don King, bigger even than pro wrestling’s Vince McMahon.
He’s taken mixed martial arts, a sport that was essentially moribund seven years ago — the bare-knuckle, anything-goes, kick-’em-in-the-kernels fights were outlawed in 36 states — and turned it into a moneymaking, crowd-frazzling sensation, a new heavyweight pay-per-view box-office champ. He accomplished this by using various business-savvy stratagems and dodges, but in a sense the inside mechanics are beside the point. How he did it really is by the force of his own multifaceted personality. At 38, he is profane, charming, ambitious, cunning, controlling, a whole lot of fun to hang around with, open like a book, closed like a fist. In fighters and fans, he inspires loyalty and fear, admiration and disgust. He has a shaved head. He wears skintight T-shirts. He looks badass, he talks badass, he is badass. In all respects, he has been the exact right guy to bring the UFC back from the dead.