SAN JOSE, Calif. – While promoting a card in Sweden earlier this month, UFC president Dana White made a stop in Dusseldorf, Germany, to undergo an experimental treatment to help him with his Meniere’s disease.
White underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy after receiving a tip from New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
Meniere’s is an inner ear disorder with symptoms that include vertigo. The symptoms, at their worst, could require White to lie quietly for many hours at a time, rendering him unable to work.
White underwent surgery in the United States last year and said the procedure didn’t help much. He was, however, enthused about the results from the PRP therapy.
“It was [expletive] amazing; just amazing,” a jovial White said Thursday at the HP Pavilion, where he is promoting a card on Saturday. “I’m done. I’m good. I’m still going to eat the way I’m supposed to eat and do what I’m supposed to do, but when I tell you that healed me, wow. Literally, I got the shot on a Sunday at 3:30 in the afternoon. I had the shot at 3:30 in the afternoon in Germany. I flew home [to Las Vegas] and got home late Sunday night.
“I got up on Monday morning to fly to Stanford. I spoke at Stanford business school. I flew back and was in the office for a while and when I woke up on Tuesday, I felt like Superman. I almost flew to work.”
White has had persistent symptoms, more than 11 times a month. At one postfight news conference, he was so dizzy as he was standing that he tightly gripped the podium so he wouldn’t fall over.
The therapy removes platelets from the blood, which are then injected back into the area. White had a large needle mark still visible on his right arm.
He held up a 32-ounce bottle of water and said the nurse took three similarly sized bottles of his blood.
“The lady asked me, ‘Do you have problems with needles?’ ” White said. “And I’m like, ‘Nope. Don’t bother me at all.’ She sticks the needle in me and I’m like, ‘Oh my God. This lady doesn’t know what she’s doing. That hurt.’ I looked down and they had a Slurpee straw in my arm.”
White said the blood was spun and then several days later, he returned and doctors had a yellowish substance that they removed from the blood and injected into him.
Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, Pope John Paul II and actor George Clooney are among other celebrities to undergo the procedure.
White was told it works well for those who are suffering from Parkinson’s disease, so he called noted boxing trainer Freddie Roach and recommended it to him. Roach has a bad case of trauma-induced Parkinson’s.
White is now a huge booster.
“I haven’t felt this good in two years,” he said. “I was having attacks every single day. Every day. Some were worse than others, and it’s not like I was having attacks every day where I was down for nine hours, but I’d have to go lay down in my office for 15 minutes or something.
“I always felt dizzy. I never felt good. When I tried to work out, the music in the gym was killing me. The music was killing me. I’m working out like a maniac now. I’ve never felt so good in my life.”