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Unsupportable Claim of the Day: Dana White

(A little cheap heat never hurt anyone.)

Dana White spoke with recently. As usual, the phrase “[deleted expletive]” appeared throughout the interview. He also found time to say this:

“When we came in, we shook up the entire industry. We rebuilt this industry, we rebuilt the fight business. And we think we have the right plan and the right strategy over the next five years, and I think mixed martial arts and the UFC is going to be the biggest sport in the world. Bigger than soccer, bigger than football, bigger than anything.


The announcement I [made June 18] is so [deleted expletive] huge in terms of what it means to the business side of this thing, what it means to the fighters and where we’re going to take this thing in five years. Everyone’s looking at “right now.” I’m working on things that are going to happen two, three, five years down the road. We’re in this thing for the long haul. Remember that I told you this: in the next five to eight years, this thing’s going to be the biggest sport in the world — bigger than the [freakin'] NFL, bigger than Major League Soccer, bigger than World Cup soccer or whatever the hell they call it. Bigger than anything. So remember I told you that.”

Bigger than anything? Wow, okay. In a few years, when the UFC is so big it has planets and stuff orbiting around it, I will at first be very surprised but then I will remember that Dana White made this vow, and I’ll be like, ‘Huh, guess he was right. And here I dismissed his claim the moment he said “World Cup soccer or whatever the hell they call it.”‘

Sarcasm aside, I admire White’s optimism and ambition. No doubt that’s a big part of how the UFC got here. But I also do not believe that we will reach a day when a UFC fight — any UFC fight — is more popular than the World Cup.

Due to the nature of combat sports, there are some people who will never embrace it. Yes, those people are missing out and they are most likely pussies and posers, but that’s the way it is. Not only does soccer have a broader appeal, it also has a tremendous head start. I like that Dana is shooting for the stars here, but I also hope he doesn’t really believe his own hype.

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clonewolf- June 22, 2008 at 8:46 pm
I beg to differ with the author of this post. "Futbol" - Soccer did not have a head start on combat sports. Combat sports go back at least 1200 years to the early days of Graeco-Roman wrestling (and perhaps centuries earlier with Far Eastern hand to hand combat/training.

There is a FAR more universal appeal of combat sports than soccer. Even in the jungles of Africa and the deep outback of Austrailia, there is no need to explain the sport of fighting. There is an instant identification. Take a soccer ball out to those remote places and they won't have a clue what to do with it, nor will they have an interest in it.
In the 1st and 2nd world nations, if there is a neighborhood with 4 corners and on one corner there is a football game, the other corner a stickball game, another corner a basketball game, and then on the fourth corner a fight breaks out...what do you think happens to the football, stickball, and basketball games? They shut down so everyone can run and watch the fight.

And "Boycott" your mindless tirade against the UFC might be taken more seriously if you took an [deleted expletive] English class. Their - is a pronoun indicating a group from a 3rd person perspective. 'There' indicates the location of an object, person, place, or thing.

George Cloney Clonewolf
Bod- June 22, 2008 at 7:13 pm
Love that he wore a Canadian's jersey, it was at UFC 83's weigh-ins! The Habs f'ed-up the Bruins in the playoffs! BOOO-YA
Mike- June 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm
Wow... with all of his money can't he pay somebody else to speak for him? At least then people may think he is intelligent. I've never seen somebody in his position talk he is at the bar on a Saturday night. Maybe that idiot should try to sound professional.
Urf- June 21, 2008 at 3:00 pm
I've been thinking of how this could be bigger than the NFL.. Old school Roman style anyone? Fight to the death? Might turn a few heads.
smaz- June 21, 2008 at 7:28 am
teachbug, you're obviously living in your own little dream world if you think that the UFC will have no problem overtaking 'soccer' in popularity. If you think American football is bigger than 'soccer', you are obviously messed in the head.
sticker- June 21, 2008 at 6:07 am
i have always held my respect for Dana at arms length but these statements just solidified his ignorance. Bigger than soccer/futbol? Check yourself, son! Such dumbass claims should be left for fuckups like Jim Rome and any other dumb shits who claim to know sports but not recognize the beauty but furthermore the physical demand that soccer requires. To anyone who doesn't respect soccer, "enjoy the couch and the sips of piss warm beer in between teabag steeps from your gramps"!
I love MMA but it will never touch soccer. Never.
teachbug- June 20, 2008 at 10:35 pm
I don't see a problem being bigger than soccer. soccer is for ferner's and fagots.
soccer sucks monkey nutz.
However him saying UFC is gonna be bigger than the NFL...hes (expletive) insane!
fightfan- June 20, 2008 at 6:14 pm
I beleive it. Dana never overstimates or overhypes things or lies about things. Dana is very honest and when he says something, you can take it to the bank.....and then watch it bounce!!
Urf- June 20, 2008 at 1:08 pm
Wait. Isn't this the same guy that kicked Jesse Taylor from TUF for being big headed? I fail to see the difference between the two. Maybe JT was a better representation of the direction the UFC is headed after all? What a douche. Bald prick trying to look like andre agassi.
Habs lover- June 20, 2008 at 12:40 pm
fuck you, shitwhistle
shitwhistle- June 20, 2008 at 12:39 pm
Canadiens jersey = bullshit
boycott the ufc- June 20, 2008 at 12:38 pm
Big money big mouths, the bastards at the head of the ufc are so exclusive to there content. after renting the pay per view you don't even get to see alot of the prelim fights then you go to there website and you have to pay to watch it on a per fight basis. the only thing good about the ufc is the fighters penn, st pierre, rampage etc. there banning of affliction t-shirts is a joke. what reporters go through at the events is a joke, flagging you tube videos is a joke. what about xyience what the crap, all of there main sponsors have ffed off then they turn around and ban the stuff from airing. they are on a slow decline they peaked after taking over pride, they are on a down hill slide. The family was loaded to begin with, any family with that kind of money can wear through the bad times. Pride was better there fighters were crazier, now the ufc has the best guys from pride and have branded the to be ufc, when rampage fought dan henderson it was ufc vs pride huh more like pride vs pride. How did chuck liddel do in his open tournament in pride, who was at the time the ufc's best he made it to the quarter final. If you lose to fights in a row in the ufc you are shit and basically booted out wtf. Pride was better with the tournaments and open weight classes, ufc puts on very few great fights, forrest griffin has lost a few times in the ufc yet he gets the title shot. He was the main brand from tuf 1 that's all it is about, liddel gets 500,00 grand to lose to jardine who gets paid 17,000. I don't care that the ufc thinks they are some god of mma, they have alot of the best fighters in the world thats why I watch. Why not let the afflication card do it's first show without a ufc card on the same day, what are they jealous that one of there former main sponsors is gonna put on a pretty good show big ffen deal.
Realist- June 20, 2008 at 10:48 am
By the way, Dana White's comments about being the biggest sport in the world in the next couple of years or for the next century is not going to happen. He knows it, the world knows it and the fans know it. So for Dana White to announce such BULLSHIT makes his professionalism and integrity as a promoter FAKE. The UFC hasn't even hit it big yet, and he is talking this BS.
The Realist- June 20, 2008 at 10:43 am
Bigger than the NFL? Bigger than Futbol (Soccer)? You gotta be kidding me. UFC is for the first time in its history peaking. But, like all other sports, it has its ups and downs. I will consider the seriousness of the "sport" when the UFC tries to bring it back up when it is down. Dana White said some serious words when he said it will be the biggest sport in the world. If UFC doesn't live up to his words, they don't deserve to be recognized as they ought to be.

UFC is a FAD
Abidon- June 20, 2008 at 10:42 am
MMA will never ever ever be bigger than football(soccer for you yanks) worldwide...
I will never be bigger than basketball or American football either...

MMA will be bigger than boxing in the future, but that is probably how big it will ever become.

Dana White has done good things for the UFC, but the Fertitta brothers has to see that his head has become too big for his own good. They need a new leader, and the sooner the better
kablamo- June 20, 2008 at 4:37 am
Remember you heard it here first. In the next 17 to 46 years, bro, hacky sack is gonna take over the world, bro. It will be bigger than frisbee golf, which will take over the world in 9 to 15 years, bro. You fuckin heard it here first.
Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame in 5 to 8 years UFC. Enjoy that shit.
The Bloc- June 20, 2008 at 3:59 am
He's wearing the jersey for the only reason that it was the GSP vs Serra fight in montreal at the bell center...he probably didnt even know who the fuck the Canadiens were.
And he's totaly delusional if he thinks MMA can get bigger than any other sports out there....i agree it's gonna get bigger but bigger than the World Cup or the Super Bowl? pls...
"Soccer"- June 20, 2008 at 3:31 am
The UFC and MMA will never be bigger than the most popular sport in the world. Does Dana even know how much money is involved in that sport?Single players getting sold/bought for 20 million dollars between teams etc. Every country in the world has a national "soccer"-team.
jakey- June 20, 2008 at 1:38 am
Ben, you're such a fuckin naysayer
Anonymous- June 20, 2008 at 12:16 am
Maybe it will be the biggest sport in the world in that it will have the largest fan base internationally or globally than any other sport (and the annual revenue to go with it), but I seriously doubt MMA or the UFC will ever be more popular than, for example, baseball and basketball is in the United States or more popular than football (soccer) or rugby is in the United Kingdom.

Is there ever a time when Dana White doesn't overplay the significance of his company?
John Doe- June 19, 2008 at 11:57 pm
Bigger than World Cup Soccer? Never going to happen.
Derek OB- June 19, 2008 at 10:47 pm
ol'pappy- June 19, 2008 at 10:23 pm
moron. and take off the Canadiens jersey you poser
CJ- June 19, 2008 at 10:13 pm
I like his ambition, as well. But why the fuck would two fighters draw as big of a crowd as two teams representing entire countries? Is the UFC's next step to have each fighter represent a nation? It's just in the nature of the sport to remain a tad bit smaller than something like Soccer. Even the venues used for each sport differ very much in size.
Howie- June 19, 2008 at 9:19 pm
Thats some pretty bold statements. I'll be the first to agree that the world is a changin but it may be a while (or never) before a man can take his wife and kids to an MMA event and make a day of it. I do however like the thought of tailgate parties before UFC XXIIVICIIXXI. As far as that whole soccer thing Dana needs to sit in some european pubs and take a vote. He might find himself escorted out with some MMA fouls to say the least.