The Ultimate Fighting Championship has been holding its Ultimate Fighter finale and Las Vegas-based Fight Night events at The Palms for several years. In fact, the UFC has held 15 events at the Palms since UFC Fight Night 9 in 2007.
That all came to an abrupt halt this year with the announcement that the TUF 16 Finale would shift over to The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in December.
The move appears to be related to UFC president Dana White’s personal relationship with the Palms, according to a Monday report by Norm Clarke in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Clarke cited unnamed sources indicating that White’s credit line at The Palms was cut in half a few months ago, leading the UFC president to pull all UFC-related events from the Palms.
Reportedly one of the Palm’s biggest gamblers since it opened, the kicker to this whole situation, at least for Palms employees, is that White was also a massively big tipper.
“He changed people’s lives,” said one of the sources that Clarke cited.
The report noted that White often ran up dinner tabs in the $15,000-$20,000 range, with tips in the neighborhood of $10,000.
The UFC itself takes part in many charitable efforts, from local charities in the cities that it visits on up to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which the promotion has supported with Fight for the Troops events.
But White himself is notable for his personal contributions to numerous causes that range from organized charities to individuals in need to just giving to the people that took care of him in the casino. He just doesn’t really like to talk about it.
White made no comment to Clarke, and did not immediately respond to MMAWeekly.com requests for comment on the situation, as well.
So it’s unclear if the move is solely due to White having a beef with The Palms or if the UFC saw the credit line move and other factors as an indicator that The Palms could no longer provide the necessary hosting support for UFC events.
The UFC begins its run at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on Dec. 15 with The Ultimate Fighter 16 Finale.
Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for all the latest UFC news and updates.