Is Dana White Appreciated Enough For His Effort to Make UFC 249 Possible?

Published 04/10/2020, 2:27 PM EDT


The UFC suffered a major blow when it had to postpone its biggest event of 2020 – UFC 249. So, what went wrong? And why does Dana White deserves more respect than he’s been getting?

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Originally booked as Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson, the main event of UFC 249 was supposed to bring back normalcy to the fight world. But, as the days went by, the governments around the world began to impose strict lockdowns. This resulted in Khabib pulling out of the event. However, the company did not stop at that. They brought in Justin Gaethje to fight ‘El Cucuy’ for the interim lightweight title.

Mr. White even had a secret venue booked. Apart from that, he also secured a private island to schedule international fights. But, the problems did not stop there. Soon after his big announcement, Disney officials contacted White to halt all of the events. White had no choice but to oblige.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Was UFC 249 a bad decision to begin with?

The UFC could have followed WWE’s footsteps and made a statement by delivering one of the baddest fight cards in history. The company’s UFC 249 event had the potential to draw in huge numbers as more people would have tuned in to watch the PPV. Fighters could have made some decent money through the PPV.

In times like these, some sort of entertainment would have helped people to ease a bit. But, it was a gamble.

As most people are aware, the Coronavirus has wreaked havoc around the world. All sporting events have stopped and are postponed—including the Olympics—indefinitely. The UFC followed the same route and canceled 3 of its events. But, decided to go ahead with UFC 249 despite the circumstances.

A full-contact combat sport like MMA should have been suspended at the earliest. Considering the fact that there is a shortage of medical equipment and hospital beds, the existing resources should be utilized to fight the pandemic and not wounded athletes. As the latter is completely avoidable if there are no events being conducted.

Moreover, having the events behind closed doors kills the excitement. Even the revenue of the company gets cut short. A sold-out arena makes a ton of money for the UFC. Even fighters would have faced performance issues, as many of them were unaware of the location and did not get time to acclimate themselves to the environment. Justin Gaethje, who was supposed to replace Khabib at UFC, did not even have a proper training camp.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

In addition, the economy cannot be ignored. Almost all daily wage workers are jobless. Having an event amidst a crisis would have resulted in fewer PPV buys.

ESPN asks us to stand down: Dana White

Dana White: The best promoter in the world

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

White’s efforts to put on a show cannot be ignored. In spite of having all odds stacked against him, the UFC President pulled out all the stops to keep the business running. His fearless attitude towards the pandemic attracted a lot of heat. But, he did not let the fans down.

Unfortunately for White, not all aspects of the business are under his control. Although his plans may have been put on hold, the UFC juggernaut has vouched to return with a bang. He also assured to take care of the financial needs of the fighters.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Shantanu Mayenkar

530 articles

MMA | Boxing

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT