When UFC was sold in July 2016 to WME-IMG for a staggering $4.2 billion, longtime UFC president Dana White inked a five-year deal to remain with the company.
As a minority owner, he could have walked away with the money he profited from the sale, but the thought of not being a part of the fight promotion never entered his mind. In fact, he would have signed a much longer contract if offered.
“I couldn’t do that (walk away). I’m in, man. I love this. I’m not going anywhere. Everybody keeps asking me, ‘You signed a five-year deal?’ I signed a five-year deal because you have to sign a deal. I would have signed a 55-year deal,” said White during an appearance on The Exchange.
The 47-year-old White could have retired. He’s financially secure and doesn’t have to work. He remained because promoting fights and booking bouts is what he does. It’s who he is.
“At the end of the day, it’s not like, oh, you have a five-year deal, you have to work for five years. Nobody can make you work. If I said (expletive) it; I’m done. I’m not going to do it anymore. I could get up and walk out of here right now. Nobody can make me work. So no matter what you sign, you’re either here because you want to be here or you’re not,” he said.
“I want to continue to put on badass fights and break records. I said it a long time ago, this has the potential to be the biggest sport in the world. We have more potential now to reach more people, so that the world can see the fights.”
White has made a lot of money during his time in the fight game. While he enjoys the lifestyle and luxuries that come with being a multi-millionaire, he was never driven by the dollar.
“I don’t even think about the money,” he said. “It’s not what I’m in it for. I was never in this for the money, ever.”