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Dana White Says The UFC Is Rolling Through the Rest of the Year, Talks Criticism For Holding Shows

May 4, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Dana White UFC, UFC 249

Dana White is excited for the return of the UFC and says it’s full steam ahead now that they’re back. White spoke with Yahoo! Sports ahead of this coming weekend’s UFC 249; you can check out some highlights below:

On his emotional state after postponing the show: “I was exhausted, man. I was [expletive] mentally, physically exhausted. My soul was [expletive] tired, OK? … I woke up [the next morning] and I felt like a million [expletive] bucks. I called [UFC Chief Business Officer] Hunter [Campbell], and I said, ‘We’re going to give ESPN the weekend off. They’ve had a rough [expletive] week, OK?’ Then I said, ‘On Monday, we’re booking another [expletive] event. So on Monday, we booked May 9. I told Hunter, ‘Call [expletive] Florida, get this [expletive] [expletive] dialed in. Monday, I called Jimmy Pitaro, and said, ‘We’re going May 9.’ ”

On the company’s March 14th show giving them some experience on how to do an empty-arena show: “The Brazil event went off great. The fights were great. Nobody got sick. Think of how much smarter we are now and how much more money we’re going to spend to throw at this thing to make sure everybody’s safe.”

On being the first to get a sporting event out there: “Nobody wants to be first, man. Nobody wants to be first and take that chance. We’re talking about fighters who want to go in and want to compete. Everybody who is involved in this event wants to be involved in this event. From my employees on up. I am still paying all of my employees. No one is living in fear of, ‘Oh my God, if I don’t show up or if I say no, I am not going to get paid.’ There is none of that here. You can talk to any of my employees. Nobody has been forced to work or, ‘You have to do this or you have to do that.’ Nobody. Somebody has to be first. And the one thing about us is, we’ve always been willing to spend money and go overboard to make sure everything is safe. So you can imagine what we are doing for this one.”

On the idea that UFC is pushing ahead because it needs the money: “If that was the case, and you want to go with the whole ‘corporate greed, this guy has to do this, this guy has to do that’ … first of all, me personally? I don’t have to do a [expletive] thing, OK? I could have stopped doing this five years ago, OK. No. 2, if that was the case with this company, do you realize how many [expletive] people we would’ve laid off by now. The first thing you do is start whacking people, right? You save millions and millions of dollars, right? Then I go to my executive team, and I’m like, ‘Here’s the pay cuts you guys are going to take. You’re still going to work, but we’re going to cut your salary in half.’ Where are any of these guys going to go and make this kind of money right now? They’re not. None of that has happened at the UFC.”

On being excited for the show: “It’s not even about being first. I was ready to continue rolling. If it were up to me, we would have kept going this entire thing. [Expletive]. I can’t wait, man. My team are a bunch of [expletive] savages,” White continued. “That’s the team that I have here. This is where you find out. It’s all great when everybody’s making money, the economy is [expletive] booming and we have big Christmas parties at the end of the year. I’m like, “I [expletive] love you guys, and yeah … ” You know what I mean? This is when you [expletive] find out, who do you really want to be in the foxhole with when [expletive] goes down? The UFC is back. Our schedule is back on, and we’re rolling right through the rest of the year.”

On the criticism the company has received: “I’ve just come to the realization that there’s people out there that are just negative, [expletive] pieces of [expletive]. And no matter what you do, they’re never going to be happy. Ever.”

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Dana White, UFC, UFC 249, Jeremy Thomas