“That Was the Last $10 Million” – Dana White Opens up About the Time When the UFC Dream Almost Ended

Published 01/21/2022, 7:05 AM EST
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES SEPTEMBER 8, 2019: Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, at a news conference following a title unification bout between UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim UFC lightweight champion Dustin Poirier at the UFC 242 mixed martial arts tournament. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images)

Ultimate Fighting Championship is one of the biggest brands in the world right now. When people talk about combat sports and MMA, UFC is the first name that comes to most of their minds. It has some of the biggest superstars in the world in its roster and people tune in to watch the fights, week in week out.

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Every year, the UFC is able to beat the previous year when it comes to revenue. Everything seems to be working for them, but it wasn’t always like this. After Dana White and the Fertitta brothers bought the UFC for $2 million, they struggled to make it work.

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They pumped in a lot of money but weren’t getting the returns they would want. It was a struggle for them to bring the UFC on pay-per-view as well, and they were right on the edge with the money. In a recent interview, White opened up about the struggles they faced.

The UFC President revealed how The Ultimate Fighter got them back on track. He said, “We were trying to get back on pay-per-view right. So, as a grown adult, you couldn’t make the, you didn’t have the option to pay and watch this. Po*n was on pay-per-view, UFC was not allowed. That’s how f**king bad it was, you know what I mean.”

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“Nobody wanted The Ultimate Fighter. The Fertitta brothers said, what if we pay for it and give it to you and let you air it? They liked that idea. We did the deal with Spike. That was the last $10 million investment the brothers were putting in. If The Ultimate Fighter flopped, that was the end of it.” 

The first UFC pay-per-view of 2022 is just around the corner

The UFC had a great 2021 full of stacked cards and insane action. Stars like Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, Kamaru Usman, and many others stepped into the octagon multiple times and gave the fans their money’s worth.

According to the UFC, it was their best year yet and they would like to maintain that momentum in 2022 as well. Their first event of the year, UFC Vegas 46, saw some brilliant action. Now, their first PPV of the year, UFC 270, is next.

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The event will feature two huge title fights. The first title fight will be a trilogy fight between UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno and former champion Deiveson Figueiredo.

WATCH THIS STORY – Five Times Francis Ngannou Annihilated His Opponents Inside the UFC Octagon

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The second title fight is for the UFC heavyweight belt. Francis Ngannou, the current champion, will take on the interim champion, Ciryl ‘Bon Gamin’ Gane, in a blockbuster main event.

Which fighters do you think will leave Anaheim as the UFC champions?

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Arunaditya Aima

600 articles

Arunaditya is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Multimedia Journalism from IIJNM, Arunaditya aspires to be an important voice in the world of MMA and interview the likes of Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes, and other such superstars of the sport. He has followed the sport for over a decade and is an ardent fan of Georges St-Pierre, who he believes is the greatest of all time.

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