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08th Nov 2017

Dana White planning to bring boxing to the UFC

Branching out

Darragh Murphy

It sure sounds like Dana White liked the look of the numbers following his role in co-promoting August’s boxing showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.

The bizarre switching of codes by MMA’s biggest star proved a lucrative outing for all involved and despite the quality of the fight itself, we can’t say we blame White for wanting to continue enjoying the fruits of the boxing world.

The UFC president has announced that he is in the process of securing a boxing licence and insisted that we might see him bringing his unique brand of boisterous promotion to the pugilism community as early as next year.

“I am getting into boxing, 100 percent,” White told the LA Times on Tuesday. “It’s still early. We’re still working on it. I’ve got to get my [stuff] together, but I’m getting into boxing, man. It’s coming.

“We still have to get some homework done. I feel like I can do it better than everyone else. I love the sport.”

White was an amateur boxer in his teenage years and even prepared devotedly for a boxing match with former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, a man with whom White had a frosty relationship.

The clash with Ortiz understandably never came to fruition but the point is that White does have an appreciation for boxing and he believes the UFC model could benefit young up-and-coming boxers.

“I just know how good we are at what we do, and I know we’re better than pretty much everybody else out there,” White said on Jim Rome’s podcast. “I think that the guys who are involved in boxing, the fighters, would enjoy being under this umbrella and fighting for us, and yeah, I do think would could do it better than everybody else does. So what the hell, why not give it a shot?

“We’re the best. We’re the best at what we do. We think about the future. If you look at this facility that we’re in now (the UFC Performance Institute), a state-of-the-art facility with every piece of equipment you can think about as far as recovery, getting stronger. We have a restaurant here that they eat at everyday for free, costs nothing for the fighters to come here and do all this stuff. Plus, we have a physical therapy center where all the fighters can come in and get physical therapy for free.

“On top of, I think we do our events better than they do, our production is better than the production that’s out there. I think everything in this business that you could possibly do, we do better, and we have health insurance for our fighters.”