5 Facts About UFC Boss Dana White

It’s rare that a non-athlete is as famous as the stars of the sport they’re involved with. Yet that’s very much the case with Dana White, the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The often outspoken Connecticut native took UFC from the gutter to the stars, and his face was front and center every step of the way. While UFC’s biggest fighters have come and gone, Dana White has remained — and likely will do for the rest of his career. Here are five facts about the UFC CEO you may not know. 

He Sometimes Lives in the UFC Headquarters

You don’t turn a business into a multi-billion, international juggernaut without a lot of hard work. Dana White has admitted that his long work hours means he ends up sleeping in the organization’s Las Vegas headquarters. 

But if you thought that meant sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor of his office, think again. UFC HQ has everything White — or anyone — needs to live well, including an on-site gym, kitchen, closet space, a bathroom, and a bed, so we don’t need to feel too sorry for him! 

He’s an Excellent Blackjack Player

White is a well-known blackjack player, regularly playing both online and in Vegas casinos. He’s famous for using the double down betting strategy, which is one of the game’s most sophisticated plays. Get it right, and you can walk away with a much larger pot than usual, and that’s exactly the kind of move that Dana White enjoys. There are several videos showing him winning huge double down bets at casinos, and we only know about them because a passerby recorded the action. White had some famous run-ins with a number of well-known Vegas casinos, so he does most of his playing online these days. 

He Was Once a Boxing Instructor

White might be most well known for his connection to MMA, but that’s not the only combat sport in which he has an interest. He worked as a boxing instructor in his early adult life, first working with a charity before becoming his own boss. His boxing pursuits were more than just a passion project. White had ambitions to bring boxercise — exercise based on boxing — to a mass audience and even tried to get a boxing reality TV show underway. His boxing pursuits, alas, failed to take off. And while that might have been tough for White to take at the time, it did make room for his UFC journey to blossom, which just proves that your low moments aren’t always as low as you think; sometimes, they’re what’s needed to push you into something even better. 

He Can Be Pretty Generous

We know, we know, it’s pretty easy to be generous when you have a net worth of some $500 million. Still, there are plenty of people with that kind of cash in the bank who aren’t generous, so we have to give a nod of respect to White, who routinely goes out of his way to help others. He’s known to give free tickets to UFC events to random fans and has donated millions of dollars to good causes. But his most generous act came back in 2010; he donated $50,000 to a Thailand family who needed money for a life-saving surgery, and he didn’t even know them at the time. They eventually met in 2014, with everyone’s lives very much intact, thanks to White. 

He Transformed UFC

You can contest White’s generosity, blackjack skills, or anything else on this list if you like. But what’s well and truly unquestionable is the impact that he has had on the UFC. White, with the help of financial backers, bought the franchise for just $2 million back in 2001. Today, it has a valuation of $23 billion. And there’s no question that it couldn’t have happened without White. When everyone else had written UFC off, he saw the potential — and then turned the dream into a reality.

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