UFC CEO Dana White is a man of humble beginnings.
MMA’s main head-honcho, White grew up in South Boston and worked multiple jobs to make ends meet and support his family.
But Dana White always knew, from 19-years-old, that he wanted more.
As is told in a newly-released interview from Fighters Only magazine, White sought out the help of Peter Welch, then a well-known Irish boxer, to teach him the art of fighting.
“I’ve always been a grinder, and I always knew what I wanted,” Dana White told long-time MMA journalist John Morgan. “I knew I wanted to be in the fight game, and I started through working for Peter Welch for free, working under him and learning all that I could learn about the fight business, and then training clients to make money. That’s how I paid my bills and did whatever.”
The love affair with fighting grew to even greater heights after watching early UFC events and fighters like Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock, both of whom would go on to become Hall of Famers.
But in greater context, it was after reconnecting with the Fertitta brothers at a mutual friends wedding that kickstarted the idea of the UFC, and ultimately, the rebirth of MMA, that White knew it’s where he belonged.
“It was a wrap [on becoming involved in fighting],” Dana White said. “That was the beginning of the end. We became addicted to it. We started training all the time, trying to kill each other. Then through John Lewis, we met B.J. Penn, Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, and tons of other guys that would come in and train with us here and there. I started managing Chuck and Tito, and then you know the rest of the story.”
As for the rest of the story, $2 million turned into $4.025 billion over the course of a 15-year stretch, where White promoted some of the most historic fights the sport has ever seen.
According to White, he has no plans to retire at this current juncture, but only time will tell.
What are your thoughts on Dana White’s love for fighting? Let us know, Penn Nation!