Dana White played a crucial role in elevating the UFC onto the global stage after acquiring the company in 2001. As the landscape of mixed martial arts underwent a transformation, attracting, even WWE’s official members, such as Shane McMahon, expressed interest in it.
Despite the current dominance of the UFC, no other mixed martial arts promotion has been able to achieve a comparable status. Dana White disclosed that Shane McMahon had expressed interest in the UFC, but his father did not give the green light.
Dana White discloses Shane McMahon’s interest in the UFC.
The MMA community is aware of how both Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon were very interested in purchasing UFC. The Fertitta brothers made the early move and purchased UFC after the company suffered a big loss for some years from the start in 1993.
Then, in 2001, Lorenzo Fertitta and Frank Fertitta decided to sell it to Dana White, who was also their longtime friend. At that time, the big amount to purchase today’s MMA’s biggest promotion was $2 million. But in all this, the regrets were building up for WWE’s owner.
According to a Bleacher Report, in an interview, Dana White said WWE’s Shane McMohan was interested in buying UFC, but what turned out was that Fertitta’s brother was quicker in making the decision. White said from somewhere he heard Vince McMohan’s son wanted to buy UFC, but Vince said no to the biggest opportunity.
Later, Dana commented on how Vince would have treated this company by saying, “Vince could have bought this thing and just put it on the shelf. Or Vince could have bought it and let his son run it.”
Dana White’s clear indication was that Vince McMahon would not have given much importance to UFC or just let his son handle all the things. And now UFC and WWE are both working together, but the owners of the companies remain the same.
Does Dana White play active roles in WWE after the TKO merger?
In September 2023, UFC and WWE officially merged, and Dana White, instead of being president of UFC, got the notable promotion to UFC CEO (Chief Executive Officer) and also remains president of UFC. White informed the media that WWE and UFC will work as they are doing right now, but under the TKO banner, both companies will help each other take the brand to the next level.
According to Sportskeeda, Dana White disclosed that his role remains unchanged, regardless of the specific title or position he holds. He emphasized, “Even the CEO thing, it’s a lateral move for me. I run everything that happens here. Everything that goes on here, I determine. So, nothing has changed. It’s just three letters.”
What are your thoughts on Vince McMahon missing an opportunity to make Dana White’s UFC bigger before he made a bid on it?