He’s known as the man who put Ultimate Fighting Championship—or maybe even mainstream mixed martial arts—on the map. Dana White’s name is almost synonymous with UFC. Since he became president of the organization in 2001, White hasn’t done anything else. He may have gone into other ventures, but he’s certainly put most of his focus on UFC from the beginning. White has worked hard over the years and has accumulated a net worth of $500 million. This comes as to no surprise since the UFC alone has become a multi-billion dollar organization, and all of it is highly due to White’s efforts and involvement.
Born on July 28, 1969, Dana White had a humble upbringing. He started boxing when he was 17 years old, building up that background that would eventually propel him in his passion and his career. Before his work for UFC began, White had his own company in Las Vegas called the Dana White Enterprises. He worked as a manager for two high profile mixed martial arts athletes, Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell. That was around 1992. In December 2000, White learned that UFC’s parent company, Semaphore Entertainment Group, was looking to sell. White wanted to jump on it right away, so he contacted one of his oldest friends, Lorenzo Fertitta.
At the time, Fertitta was working as an executive at Station Casinos. He also worked as a former commissioner of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. By January 2001, just a month later, Fertitta and his brother Frank had bought UFC from the Semaphore Group, investing $2 million. They named Dana White as President, and it history went down from there.
Back then, White has a 9% stake at Zuffa, the entity created by the Fertitta brothers to manage the UFC business. After UFC was sold to WME-IMG for $4.0 billion in July 2016, White started receiving 9% of UFC’s net profits. In 2017, White’s salary was estimated at $20 million. Aside from his UFC salary, he also made a lot of money from television work. He has at least 69 producer credits and 3 acting credits from these shows: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Silicon Valley, and The League. Two of those acting credits were from him playing himself.
No matter what Dana White did, he couldn’t get away from UFC, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially for someone like White. White’s passion for the UFC is obvious and infectious. From years of hard work and dedication to his craft and passion, White has eventually accumulated $500 million in the bank. White was smart with his money, and you never hear anything about White’s finances in any negative light. On the contrary, White is known to give back to the community through charities and programs. One time, he donated $100k to reconstruct the athletic complex at his old school, Hermon High School. He’s also donated $100k to various marathon fundraisers. It’s amazing how White has shared his success over the years. It only goes to show that the more you give, the more you’ll receive.
According to Wikipedia – White claims he left Boston for Las Vegas after being threatened by James “Whitey” Bulger and his associate Kevin Weeks. “He basically said, ‘You owe us money’. It was like $2,500, which was like $25,000 to me back then, and said, ‘You owe us money.’ It was actually a guy named Kevin Weeks, who if you saw the trial he’s Whitey’s right-hand man. I’m sure he’s very prominent in the movie, but yeah basically said I owed him some money, and I didn’t pay him. This went on for a while and one day I was at my place and I got a call and they said, ‘You owe us the money tomorrow by 1 o’clock’. I literally hung up the phone, picked up the phone and called Delta and bought a ticket to Vegas.” In 2011, White’s mother, June, wrote Dana White, King of MMA: Dana White an Unauthorized Biography. In an interview promoting the book, she called her son “egotistical, self-centered, arrogant, and cruel”.
Other Interesting Facts
White spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, where he endorsed Republican nominee Donald Trump.In Season 15 of History Channel’s Pawn Stars, (aired on February 5th 2018) White purchased over $60,000.00 worth of Katana swords including one of Rick’s 16th century Japanese Katana.
Dana White’s Top 10 Rules for Success
Memorable Dana White Quotes
- I don’t care what color you are, I don’t care what country you’re from; we’re all human beings and fighting’s in our DNA. We get it, and we like it
- Whatever it is that you’re passionate about, whatever it is that you absolutely love, and whatever it is that you would get up out of bed every day and do for free, you should try to figure out a way to make money at it and give it a shot.
- Don’t be that guy that’s laying in that hospital bed going, ‘I wonder what would have happened if I tried it?’ The worst thing that could happen is that it doesn’t work.
- I think you take whatever it is that you would do for free and you figure out the way to do it.
- My legacy to me is-when I drop dead and they’re at my funeral – I want my three kids to get up and say, ‘He’s an awesome dad’.