UFC 100 is this Saturday, and there’s no looking back for UFC President Dana White. The brash president recently told Rod Moyer of FightLine.com that he truly believes that MMA will be the biggest sport in the world.
“This thing has the potential to be the biggest sport in the world,” White stated. “I predicted that recently, and everyone’s calling me a lunatic like eight years ago. We will be bigger than the NFL and bigger than world cup soccer.”
While those are lofty aspirations, the UFC is truly a global sport with competitors from all over the world.
“Where else can you have a guy from Brazil fighting a guy from Canada, and a guy from Florida fighting a guy from San Diego?” he asked. “We’ve got guys from Croatia, England, Brazil, Japan, Spain, you name any place in the world, we have fighters there or can get them from there. This is truly a global sport. When did you ever see in boxing when a guy who is from, you know, Brazil, come up to fight in the United States, and the fans come and go crazy for the Brazilian? It just doesn’t work that way.
This is the most international sport I’ve ever seen, where people from one country will cheer a guy from another country. You don’t see that any where else, not in soccer, you don’t see it in boxing. You don’t see it in any other international sport.”
As for the UFC’s current growth, Dana White admitted that time can always be a hindrance.
“No matter how much money you make, it’s about how fast can you grow,” White noted. “There’s only so much time in the day, there’s only so many employees you’re really going to hire, and you know, were looking globally for this thing.”
With almost two hundred fighters under contract, we asked Dana White if the UFC would adapt to the business model that World Wrestling Entertainment uses for house shows, having weekly non-televised events while saving the bigger events for pay-per-view.
“Weekly’s tough, you know,” he said. “You have to have a lot of talent to have weekly shows. We’re doing 33 fights a year now! When we first bought this company, we were doing 5 a year, and that was kicking my ass! Now were doing 33 a year! Um, who knows, I mean, I wouldn’t say all of the Unites States would be doing weekly fights, they (weekly fights) will be happening all over the world once we open up. We’re in 190 different countries on some form of television, and now we’re going to bring the live events to all of those places.”
You can watch our entire interview with Dana White below: