UFC president Dana White on Tuesday night admitted that he is actively pursuing a move into boxing promotion.
White isn’t cutting ties with the UFC. He is, in fact, extending his company’s promotional reach. White has long been a fan of boxing, and after being involved in the promotion for Conor McGregor‘s foray into boxing opposite Floyd Mayweather, it appears that he’s ready for more.
“I’m not leaving the UFC. I’m getting into boxing with Ari (Emanuel) and the UFC will be doing boxing, too,” White told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday. Emanuel is the CEO of Endeavor (formerly WME-IMG) the parent company of the UFC.
“It’s still early. We’re still working on it. I’ve got to get my (expletive) together, but I’m getting into boxing, man. It’s coming.”
Although it could take some time for White and the UFC to get up to speed in the boxing world, during a recent podcast interview with UFC veteran Mike Swick, White said that he was interested in getting into boxing as soon as 2018.
It now seems that the wheels are already in motion.
“It’s harder than saying we’re getting into boxing. We still have to get some homework done. I feel like I can do it better than everyone else. I love the sport,” said White.
“If you look at what we’ve done over the last 15 years, we’re not afraid to try new things.”
It’s too soon in the process to know what direction that White might take a dive into boxing promotion. With McGregor’s bout with Mayweather, the UFC broke with a longstanding tradition of not co-promoting. Mayweather Promotions was the official promoter of the bout, while the UFC later signed on as an additional promoter as the fight drew near. McGregor’s company was also a partner in the promoting the bout.
With McGregor’s demands for a UFC return reportedly including some sort of equity stake or co-promotion credit, White’s foray into boxing could get quite interesting rather quickly.