Report: Dana White Cuts UFC Ties to The Palms Over Credit Line Reduction

October 29, 2012
23 Comments

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.

  • KJ

    alrighty then…

  • bajafox

    I was a waiter for several years and to get a 40-50% tip on anything, whether it’s a $10 bar tab or a $120 dinner is pretty fkn awesome. Wish Dana had sat at my tables when I was a waiter…

  • Steve W.

    Im sure there is alot more to this story.

    • http://www.MMAWeekly.com/ Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly

      You’re probably correct in that. The Palms has been going through some tough financial times, so that could be playing a factor in various way. The Hard Rock has also been in the Zuffa picture before, both with
      Strikeforce and prior to that with WEC, so it’s not like they came out of nowhere. That said, Norm Clarke is a veteran reporter with a strong track record. This is one of those stories that we’ll probably not get ever get the full details on.

  • Mark McDowall

    So if this is even partly true…is Dana White going to cut ties with everyone who doesn’t kiss his butt?

    • dd

      well when your vip at a certain club u expect vip services..

  • The Dave

    The UFC needs to do itself a favor and cut its tie with White. He’s an embarrassment every time his mouth opens.

    • p3ezy

      If UFC “cut its ties” with Dana, UFC, and professional MMA for that matter, would go down the drain. He is the people most responsible for bringing the sport to where it is today. Not a very well thought out comment there Dave.

      • The Dave is stupid…

        @dave – a stupid comment from a stupid person…

      • The Dave

        Yeah, he’d really like ya’ll to think that.

      • The Dave

        Well, Bellator is doing well with minmal exposure. It’s yet to be seen how the new promotion will do on NBC. My hunch is not that well, the card looks fine but MMA has limited appeal. I can remember Dana saying MMA would be bigger than Soccer(football to the rest of world). Don’t know if you’ve ever been to Brazil but I have and there isn’t a snowballs chance in hell that will happen. MMA would be extremely fortunate to surpass cricket. And without major tv deal which I’m sure the UFC is taking a loss, the vast majority of Brazilians would never be able to afford a ppv. In fact while I was there in and around the Manaus area the people I spoke to had never even heard of Wanderlei Silva much less the Gracies.

        • BrazilianFan

          There are two options here:
          1) You are a liar
          2) You were in the Amazon living with an indigenous tribe

          The UFC is HUGE in Brazil. I am Brazilian and live in Brazil. Every event is sold out in one or two days. The biggest (by far) TV channel in Brazil (Rede Globo) shows all UFC events that take place in Brazil and its cable channels shows all events. There are news on the most popular website in Brazil (globo.com) about the UFC all the time. People in Manaus are obsessed with MMA and so is much of the country now.

          You sir, are a liar and are only wasting everyone’s time with your stupidity and BS.

          Thank you for NEVER coming back.

          • The Dave

            How much is the major television network paying the UFC? The gates matter naught, before the Spike TUF deal Zuffa was on the verge of selling despite high profile fights like Tito vs Chuck 1, Couture vs Belfort 2, etc and high gates. High gates are not going to pay the likes of GSP, Silva, and Dos Santos. They needed a TV deal. They got one through Spike, which by the way Dana has taken the opportunity to disparage as of late as they are now on FX and Fox. Want to talk about loyalty? Regardless of the financial terms of the Spike deal if it wasn’t for that network Zuffa wouldn’t be running the show right now.

            The fact remains to be seen how the UFC fares. PPV numbers are down across the board and the North American TV numbers (where the bread and butter comes from) are dropping. Even the heavy hitters are not drawing the numbers previously seen.
            As for Manaus, what I saw was a community across from the city on the water, kind of like a trailer park except for you get there by boat and if you want to swim you’re swimming in your own crap.

          • Smarter then the dave

            Dave ur just talking in circles. You flat out don’t know what u are talking about. Brazil gets all ppv events for free with subscription. Brazil is in Dana’s own words the Mecca of mma. Both the silvas are like gods in brazil. Ufc is actually more popular in brazil then any other country maybe excluding canada. Ur a douche bag

    • Tmoze

      Dave- really? Stupidest thing said today on the entire www is your comment…

      • The Dave

        You don’t think he’s an embarrassment? You’re probably the kind that think he’s just being real. Well my friend, go back to when Zuffa first took over and see what type of orchestrated changes have taken place in The Dana PR machine. You don’t even have to go that far. Pre TUF/Post TUF 1. A critic described him perfectly as the human wedgie.
        Mark my words, TUF and the UFC have peaked and there ain’t no where but down. The numbers don’t lie.

        • RedPanda910

          There’s more to ratings and popularity than just the United States. UFC has been targeting global expansion, which I think they have been doing fairly well as of late.

          • The Dave

            USA/Canada is where the major revenue comes in. Perhaps I’ve been reading the stats wrong but I believe the ppv’s and TUF have taken a nose dive.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charlie-Phillips/1234886916 Charlie Phillips

      without dana white the ufc wouldnt be where it is today go ahead hate the man all you want but you atleast have to respect the way he brought the ufc back from death

  • Jtgoldboss

    This is an embarassment simply because he is throwing around so much cash and the fighters are so underpaid, it makes him (and the UFC ownership) like greedy pricks. However, I don’t completely dislike Dana. He does a lot of good things for MMA. His actions are disrespectful to the fighters. IMHO

  • dathump

    Dane may see the reduction in his credit line as a sign that the Palms may be having cash flow problems, and as a businessman is smart to get out before the palms can’t properly hold a UFC event or goes belly up and leaves them without a venue.

  • Oswald Cobblepott

    Professionals do not lead with emotion…the same person who helped this thing out will end up destroying it. He is complacent and does not work with the same as before since his job is now secure

  • AnderOwl

    Maybe Dana didn’t pay his bills on time. That could be why they reduced his credit line.