UFC Will Be Back in Boston; Dana White, With a Wink, Thanks the Union and City Council President

August 19, 2013
Comments off

Dana White at UFC 144Less than a week ago, UFC president Dana White was starting to question why he would bring his show to Boston after all the hoops and hurdles that his company faced in pulling off UFC Fight Night 26: Shogun vs. Sonnen on Saturday night at the TD Garden.

When asked if the issues the company had to deal with affected his thinking about returning, he couldn’t deny it.

“I’d be a liar if I said no,” White said during a Monday conference call promoting the event.

But after persevering and pulling off what was a success at that box office and in the TV ratings – Shogun vs. Sonnen served as prime time launch programming for the new Fox Sports 1 network – White has changed his tune a bit.

UFC Fight Night 26 drew a live audience of 12,539 for gate receipts totaling $1.53 million. The telecast on Fox Sports 1 pulled in 1.78 million viewers, well above the 1.29 million viewer average for comparable fight night event on FX.

Now White is ready to return to Boston.

“I love this city. It’s a great city. It’s a great sports town,” he declared at the post-fight press conference. “All the things that were said this week leading up to this fight, I wasn’t talking about the athletic commission here.”

He was talking about a certain union faction and a certain politician, but now actually credits a modicum of the event’s success to those folks that tried to trip him up.

The Culinary Union is waging war on UFC co-owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta’s other business, the non-union Station Casinos in Nevada, and is trying to force the Fertitta brothers’ hand by attacking the UFC. The Boston politician in question is city council president Steven Murphy.

The Union filed various complaints from trying to trip up Chael Sonnen’s participation to trying to ban minors from attending the show.  Although he denied knowing anything about the union, Murphy fell in line, backing the campaign to ban minors.

White last week sounded rather frustrated in having to deal with the headaches the Union and Murphy hurled his direction, but after a successful event, he’s throwing a little credit their way.

“I love when these guys come out and do stuff like this. My media schedule got even bigger. And it didn’t just last one day, it lasted four days,” said White of the effect the Union and Murphy had on the attention the event garnered.

“These guys, they come in and they do stuff like this and it just makes everything bigger. People that wouldn’t cover us here for this fight, everybody covered this fight because of what Commissioner Knucklehead was doing. This guy comes out and was doing what he was doing and it created a lot more awareness for the UFC,” he continued.

“Everybody that I came into contact with here in Boston had heard about what was going on. Then you know we’re in town.

“So, I would just like to thank all my friends at the union for really helping us with the PR push this week,” White’s Cheshire grin widening as he spoke. “It was a huge success and I can’t thank you all enough.”

Be sure to Like MMAWeekly.com on Facebook and Follow @MMAWeeklycom on Twitter.

  • ElbowSlice


  • Mark McDowall

    I don’t see the correlation between a shows physical location and the TV ratings. That card could have been put on anywhere and it would have pulled alot of viewers.

    Their problems with the unions are far from over…they put up a decent fight this time but I have a feeling it will eventually catch up with them and F up an event somewhere, somehow it’ll happen.

  • bajafox

    The unions are nothing but money laundering schemes for Liberals. The gig will be up soon, you can’t build a successful business around paying workers with GEDs at double what the private sector pays. At least not without a tax payer bailout

    • Mark McDowall

      They’ve been doing it since the eary 1900’s…what makes you think they will change now?

      • bajafox

        I don’t think they will change personally, take states like Missouri for example and the Hostess fiasco. They’re self imploding

    • silent_nick

      Then go buy everything from companies that take their jobs overseas because there are no “Liberal” protections and they can pay workers 10 cents/hour.

      • bajafox

        This is why I love capitalism, it’s not party biased. The consumer chooses what they want to buy at the price they’re willing to pay.

        Don’t come on here and pretend everything you own is US made. Even if you go to AMC theaters you’re sending your money overseas.

    • Mike mckinney

      You don’t like unions I get it, but you should at least be specific. There are a lot more union jobs in the privite sector than the public sector. If you just don’t like public employee unions that’s different. And the government only gives bailouts to the privite sector, so I’m not sure what you meant.

      • bajafox

        Unions in general are driving jobs out of the country. Detroit didn’t get to where it is now without the help of union policies.

        I know at one point in time, unions were good for lower skilled workers and their crappy work environments, but that’s not what they are anymore. I would’t mind a union, as long as I was leading it.

        • Mike mckinney

          Union policies in Detroit? You are aware that unions don’t just make rules and companies have to follow them right? Unions make agreements with companies and they have contracts. It’s not the unions contract. It’s both parties contract. The contracts protect both parties. I do understand that there are companies that may “give to much” to the workers during “good times” but those were decisions the company made. It’s not as if unions just walk in and tell people how it is. And at the end of the day, the companies can just let people go, or give them pay cuts. It may cause a strike, but I can’t imagine a good American like yourself being against workers ability to protest.

          • mma’er

            Unions go in, tell them how it is and if they don’t get their way, they strike. Been there, done that and in the long run it equals failure for the employee, the company, the country, but it’s worth it for the union officials. The same union officials jobs that are to golf 4-5 times a week and collect hundreds of thousands in salary and stick their nose in to things after people bitch 10 times about things.

          • Mike mckinney

            Well what about unions that have no strike clauses/no lockout clauses?

            You seem to just throw unions all into one boat. People who are informed seem to rarely do that. Have you just been reading tea party signs for material?

    • Mcgiggity

      Unions are parasites period, but they are certainly not limited to liberals. Police unions, prison guards unions, alcohol lobbies, and big pharma are not at all liberal, and they are doing a great job of swindling the common man while selling out the country from beneath the feet of the people.

  • james j

    UFC, Please come back to Boston. The event was awesome.