Dana White and the UFC’s motto: ‘The Show Must Go On’

UFC in 2020
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 17: UFC president Dana White interacts with media during the UFC Fight Night press conference at UFC APEX on September 17, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

If you didn’t think the show would go on, then you don’t know the UFC.  The defiant attitude of the organization as well as its president, Dana White, has permeated the DNA of the UFC since its birth in 1993.  

Dana White refuses to slow down…

It is the willingness to put on fights and a knack of assured mulishness that fans of the sport have come to love and expect from the biggest mixed martial arts promotion.  The company’s effectiveness to be adaptable for sudden situations or being able to pivot on short notice that would usually be canceled if it were the case for other sports.  The UFC has certainly showcased this characteristic more than ever during this pandemic.  

Whether it be a short-notice replacement for an abruptly injured competitor or moving a whole fight card to a different location on a day’s notice because of difficulties with a certain athletic commission – of course, I am talking about UFC 12: Judgement Day but that’s for another article.  In a nutshell, the UFC has always boasted its ability to be flexible in unexpected changing circumstances.  

One has only got to look at the way the UFC has been able to be flexible this year.  Multiple positive tests from fighters and coaches forced them to be cancelled from the event, only to be replaced by other fighters who were willing to step up on short notice.

Whether it was a positive test, visa issue, injury, or whatever the case may be, UFC fighters have stepped up to fight on short notice gaining much respect and love from the MMA community.  We have seen many fighters step up this year like Kevin Holland and their popularity has grown massively during 2020.  He went 5-0 this year, a remarkable achievement and a true testament to the saying: ‘stay ready so you don’t have to get ready’.

The UFC corporation simply goes by a recurring quote which is ‘the show must go on’ no matter what.  There is a flair of braggadocio which the UFC president seems to pride himself on – that nothing can stop him from putting on fights.  Not even a global pandemic!  This can be much attributed to the president of the UFC whose attitude has ingrained itself through the company.    

Dana White drives the UFC…

“I was never really 100 percent concerned or worried it’ll never go on,” said John Hyon Ko, a reporter for South China Morning Post.  “The reason why is because Dana White is a madman.  He’s determined and that’s why you got to respect him.  You might not like him, the way he is, and the way he treats certain people or certain fighters but you got to respect his hustle because he’s a hustler.  When I see someone at the head of a company that’s just like him with his characteristics, I’m never really too concerned about what’s going to happen with the company because he’s going to find a way.”

“We’re not stopping,” said Dana White on ESPN.  “We will keep finding a way to put on the fights. I’m in the fight business. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years, and this stuff happens to me every weekend — obviously not at this level.  Unless there’s a total shutdown of the country where people can’t leave their houses and things like that, these fights will happen.” 

BT Sport UFC reporter and Talksport presenter, Adam Catterall credited Dana White’s tenacious attitude as the reason for the UFC’s success.

“We wouldn’t be in the situation that we’re in right now without Dana White’s tenacity, said Catterall.  “Him doing the outrageous, him pushing stuff forward, him not taking no for an answer has got us into this position.  Yeah alright, sometimes you look at him and think flippin’ heck!  How far is he going this time but nine times out of 10, he wins.  Nine times out of 10 by pushing the envelope, by being prepared to go first, by not taking no for an answer, by wanting to push those boundaries, you then start to get incredible results.”  

“The UFC has grown since Zuffa, the Ferttitas and Dana took it all the way back and to the point where we’re at right now with WME-IMG looking after it with obviously Dana still at the forefront.”  

The UFC will continue to grow and has been defiant in the face of a worldwide pandemic.  The determined nature of the UFC organization and its president has proved that the pandemic was a minor blip on the road as the company has not skipped a beat this year. 

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