Dana White, President of Zuffa, LLC, d/b/a Ultimate Fighting Championship® and co-owner of its assets, oversees a company of over 200 employees on three continents.
Through hard work, dedication and a lifelong passion for mixed martial arts, White has helped transform the UFC into a multi-billion dollar global brand and one of the fastest growing sports organizations in history.
Throughout his career, Dana has always displayed consistent and keen business sense. In the early 90’s he launched successful business enterprises and managed fighters Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz, who soon became superstars under his direction. In 2001, he recognized the potential in the then beleaguered UFC. Contacting childhood friends Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta,Dana convinced them to buy the struggling MMA promotion for $2 million, which they did and together they created Zuffa, LLC as the parent company to UFC with White serving as President.
Dana worked tirelessly to create a fresh image for the UFC and bring proper safety rules, regulations and guidelines to the sport. These efforts paved way for a new found understanding and respect in the sporting and cable communities. The UFC’s popularity exploded when the first season of the hit reality series The Ultimate Fighter®, which White co-created, delivered record ratings on SPIKE TV. Now thanks to White’s vision, the UFC organization produces over 12 live Pay-Per-View events annually and mounts over 30 live events per year across the world. In addition, the UFC produces over a dozen different TV shows and accounts for thousands of hours of broadcast and cable programming in over 150 countries and territories, reaching nearly one billion homes worldwide, in 20 different languages.
With the exponential rise of the UFC, Dana continues to prove his devotion to bringing the organization into the mainstream landscape. In May 2011, Dana accomplished a milestone by obtaining accident insurance for over 350 fighters under contract with Zuffa,LLC, a feat that took three years to complete. Several months later, the UFC and Fox Sports announced a multi-year/multi-media rights agreement – putting UFC on par with professional sporting groups like the NFL and NBA. What’s more, Dana has led the charge in making the UFCone of the most powerful social media organizations in all of professional sports. To date, Dana is one of the most accessible and most followed executives in sports with over two million followers on Twitter.
Ancillary businesses include best-selling DVDs, UFC Magazine, the best-selling UFC Undisputed® videogame franchise distributed by THQ, UFC GYM®,UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo®festivals, branded apparel, trading cards, and articulated action figures.
In 2008, both Business Week and Sports Business Journal named White as one of the most influential people in sports. In 2009, the United States Armed Forces Foundation presented White with the Patriot Award for his contribution to injured military servicemen and women. That same year, White was named “Nevada’s Sportsman of the Year” by the Caring Place, a nonprofit organization dedicated to relieving financial concerns of cancer patients. White was named as one of the most influential people of 2010 by both TIME and Esquire magazines. Then, in 2011, White was once again listed among AskMen.com’s list of 49 most influential men of the year.
Originally a New England native, White spent formative years in Las Vegas, where he currently resides with his wife, Anne and their three children.
Follow Dana on Twitter.