(For the girl in the Spiderman costume, what happened later that night was the most humiliating experience of her life. For Jon Lovitz, it was just another champagne orgy. Photo via VegasNews)
UFC president Dana White — who, as we are legally obligated to tell you, has never bet on a UFC fight in his life, other than that friendly $100 cash wager he made on Manny Gamburyan vs. Thiago Tavares — has cut ties with The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, a longtime host-venue of TUF Finale events. In true Godfather style, it’s over an insult, related to his immense, well-documented love of gambling (which again, he’s never done on a UFC fight, except for that one time in January 2009).
A falling-out with UFC president Dana White is the latest setback for the hard-hit Palms, sources confirmed Sunday.
The blowup occurred about six months ago when White, furious that his credit line was cut in half, pulled all UFC-related events from the Palms and has not returned…
The UFC had an exclusive contract with the Palms to hold televised “Ultimate Fighter Live Finale” events at the hotel as well as local UFC fights.
One of the Palms’ biggest gamblers since it opened 11 years ago, White’s tipping habits were legendary.
“He changed people’s lives,” said one of the sources.
Dealers and wait staff were among the hardest hit by White’s departure. During one two-month hot streak, White tipped dealers more than $100,000, sources confirmed.
“Anytime he came in, we knew it was a big payday,” a Palms employee said.
A regular at N9NE Steakhouse, White routinely ran up dinner tabs of $15,000-$20,000 and tossed in $10,000 tips. That happened three or four or times a week, the sources said.
First, let’s give White some credit here: The fact that his tipping habits are enough to affect a city’s local economy is pretty fucking impressive. Until you’re able to spend $100,000/week on steak dinners, you can’t really call yourself a “success.”
But man, what an asshole. (Sorry, you knew that was coming.) We’re used to the UFC president’s tantrums by now, but this one — in which Dana ends a contract with a loyal partner because they were financially strapped and could no longer afford to float him the kind of markers he’d grown accustomed to — is such a great encapsulation of White’s personality. In short, he’s a man who wields his power like a bully, reacts to every setback as if it were a direct threat on his life, and loves, loves, loves to gamble, to the point where his love of gambling is now influencing major business decisions.
Anyway, this should explain why the TUF 16 Finale is slated to go down at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on December 15th, and not at the Palms, where the last eleven TUF finale cards have taken place.