by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Dana White has never been one to back down from making a bold statement. Over the last few years, the UFC president has stated several times that he believes that mixed martial arts will someday be the biggest sport in the world.
He believes that when fans come to a live show, it brings a whole new experience to the fans, and that’s something electric that you can’t feel unless you’ve been there in person.
“Anybody that goes (to a live event)… they’re going to go and infect 30 or 40 more people with what they saw. You think you like it on TV, wait till you see it live,” said White recently.
And he doesn’t shy away from comparing the UFC to the biggest sport in the United States. White says that while the NFL has the right plan for the American market, it’s never translated worldwide.
“I think as big as the NFL is in the United States, it’s huge,” he stated. “This last Super Bowl that we just had was the biggest watched television show in history. That’s how big the Super Bowl is, and they’ve been trying to break into all these other markets, but people don’t understand it. They’ve never played it. They didn’t grow up playing it. They don’t know the rules and they’re never going to be invested in the New England Patriots or the New York Giants.”
Reaching down to the primal level is where White believes fighting will always be successful because everyone understands it, and everyone wants to watch.
“Fighting – I don’t care what color you are, or what language you speak, or what country you live it, we’re all human beings and fighting’s in our DNA. We get it and we like it,” he stated.
“Before a guy ever hit a ball with a bat, or a ball went through a hoop, there were two guys on this planet and somebody threw a punch, and anybody who was standing around was watching it. It translates across all different barriers, and this will be the biggest sport in the world, I guarantee it.”
With the UFC’s expansion into Australia in February, going to Abu Dhabi in April, and with talk of a UFC taking place in China, the plan for expansion continues to grow. Some might want to dismiss White’s claims as premature, but his vision helped bring the UFC this far, so at the end of the day everyone may want to judge slowly.
Mixed martial arts may very well end up being the biggest sport in the world one day in the future.