With the UFC’s recent acquisition of the Strikeforce promotion, they have far surpassed any of their current competition in regards to mixed martial arts, but UFC president Dana White is a competitive man and he doesn’t have any plans on slowing down his company’s growth anytime soon.
White recently spoke with Sergio Non of USA Today, to whom he explained his love of business competition and how the UFC’s now lays outside of MMA.
“The reality is, there really hasn’t been anything (as a credible rival) since Pride,” White said of the legendary Japanese promotion which the UFC acquired in 2007. “Pride was the one that was the big competition. They put on all these big fights. They actually created stars, much like we do.”
Now, says White, the only source of real competition to the UFC exists in the other major sports leagues like the NFL or MLB and he plans to work just as hard to surpass those sports as he did to consume his MMA competitors.
“It’s fun. I like the competition. I love it. I (freaking) thrive on it. That’s the (crap) that gets me up in the morning. Make no (freaking) mistake about it,” he said. “I am a competitor and I like to compete. And we do it in lots of things. It’s not just other organizations that are out there or other fight companies. It’s for pay-per-view numbers. For ratings on television. For sponsorships. For everything. Everything that you do when you own business is you compete. Not to mention the fact that I also feel like we compete against other sports leagues. We look at other sports leagues and say, ‘Ok, we can be this big or bigger. How do we do it? How do we get up every day and work and push the envelope and take it to the next level?’
It’s hilarious to me that when all the media and the fans talk about stuff — when you guys talk about Strikeforce and Affliction and IFL and all these other guys that were out there,” White continued. “Come on, if that’s seriously what you guys think is our (freaking) competition, you guys are (freaking) way out of the loop. Way, way, way, way out of the (freaking) loop. My competition is the NFL. My competition is Major League Baseball. My competition is these other networks.
I look much bigger than that.”