President, Ultimate Fighting Championship UFC®
Dana White serves as President UFC®, the world’s leading mixed martial arts organization. He is responsible for UFC’s global business, which employs over 300 employees across four continents. In July 2016, White played an essential role in WME | IMG’s acquisition of UFC, which at the time was the largest acquisition of a sports property in history.
With a strong business acumen and keen sense of competition, White has achieved unparalleled success in the combat sports industry. Following Zuffa LLC’s purchase of UFC in January 2001, White, along with then-owners Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta, spent the next 15 years transforming UFC into the fastest growing global sports brand in history.
UFC’s popularity exploded across the national landscape in 2005 when the inaugural season of the brand’s reality series The Ultimate Fighter® – which White co-created – delivered record ratings on cable television. Since its first season, TUF has produced shows based in the United States, Brazil, China and Latin America. Since its inception, the show has consistently been recognized as an instrumental component of introducing UFC and the sport of mixed martial arts into the mainstream, while also familiarizing fight fans with eight athletes that have entered UFC and become champions in their respective weight classes.
In 2020, White successfully led UFC through its most challenging year, as the company navigated the global pandemic. White’s mission to find a solution to continuing to hold events while protecting the health and safety of athletes and staff resulted in one of the most successful years in UFC history. Led by White, UFC was the first major professional sports organization in the U.S. to resume live events following global shutdowns, and his creation of UFC FIGHT ISLAND captured the imagination of the sports world while becoming a new multi-million-dollar live event brand. Among its achievements in 2020, UFC set new marks for TV viewership, Pay-Per-View buys, and social media followers, and set new revenue records for e-commerce and sponsorship sales.
Led by White, UFC had an even better 2021, eclipsing many of the benchmarks set the prior year. UFC also became the first major sports property to host a live event with fans returning at full-capacity at an indoor arena since the start of the pandemic. That event, UFC 261 In Jacksonville, Fla, in April of that year, began a streak of consecutive sold-out Pay-Per-View events that continues to this day.
In 2016, White debuted his second UFC-based reality show with “Dana White: Lookin’ For A Fight.” Along with UFC Hall of Famer Matt Serra and former UFC lightweight Din Thomas, White travels the world to visit regional mixed martial arts promotions in search for up-and-coming talent.
In 2017, White launched a new, live original entitled: “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series” on UFC FIGHT PASS, the company’s global digital subscription service. The weekly series, now entitled: “Dana White’s Contender Series,” is in its fourth season and second on ESPN+. The series features live fights in each episode, showcasing up-and-coming talent, as well as veteran fighters striving to break into UFC.
In 2022, White announced a new competitive combat sport focused on open-handed striking, Power Slap. The sport, fully sanctioned and regulated by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, made its debut with an eight-episode reality series, Power Slap, that began airing on TBS in early 2023.
Thanks to White’s vision, UFC has grown exponentially from humble beginnings as a live events company to a global media powerhouse producing more than 40 live events globally on an annual basis, transmitting thousands of hours of broadcast and cable programming in 40languages to 170 countries and territories, reaching over 900 million homes around the world.
In 2008, both Business Week and Sports Business Journal named White as one of the most influential people in sports. In 2009, the United States Armed Forces Foundation presented White with the Patriot Award for his contribution to injured military servicemen and women. That same year, White was named “Nevada’s Sportsman of the Year” by the Caring Place, a nonprofit organization dedicated to relieving financial concerns of cancer patients. White was also named as one of the most influential people of 2010 by both Time and Esquire magazines and was invited to speak at the famed Oxford Union at Oxford University, England. In August 2016, White and Lorenzo Fertitta were honored with the co-Sports Executives of the Year award by Multichannel News. In July 2018, White was named one of the 100 most innovative leaders by AdWeek.
A native of New England, White spent his formative years in Las Vegas where he currently resides with his wife, Anne, and their three children.