As president of UFC®, Dana White oversees the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation with more than 250 employees across three continents. With a keen sense of competition and strong business acumen, White has achieved unrivaled success in the combat sports industry. After purchasing UFC in January 2001, White spent the next 15 years building UFC into the fastest-growing sports brand in history. UFC now produces more than 40 live events annually, and its programming is broadcast in 152 countries and territories to more than 1.1 billion TV households worldwide in 35 different languages.
Dana White is the president and brains behind the UFC. Dana rose from humble beginnings in New England to acquiring the UFC in 2002 when it was at the verge of bankruptcy. He proceeded to grow the UFC to a multi-billion dollar enterprise that many believe will be bigger than the NFL in the United States and the World Cup worldwide.
The fight began 26 years ago, the day a fresh-out-of-high-school 19-year-old named Dana White left a cushy gig working as a hotel valet.
“I’m standing in the lobby one day, and just thinking, ‘What the hell am I doing here?’…I make cash every day, plus get a check at the end of the week, got great benefits…but I’m not happy here,” White says. ”So I literally walked out the front door, told my buddy I was quitting. Of course he told me I was nuts and [asked me], ‘What are you going to do?’ And I said, ‘I’m gonna get into the fight business.’ And that’s it…That’s what I did.”
Over the next decade, White worked every angle of the boxing world, from boxing himself to training and managing other fighters, “teaching housewives,” refereeing and running gyms.
It was at one such gym in early ’90s Boston where White’s fight almost took a sinister turn. In those days, much of working class Boston, legitimate and otherwise, was under the thumb of legendary Irish mob boss Whitey Bulger.
One day, White was paid a visit by a couple of guys who promptly informed him that he owed them $2,500 for reasons that were never made clear.
“That thing went down where they were trying to get money from me, and I got the phone call one day, and they were basically like, ‘You’ve got until Sunday to pay us’… [and] I left everything I had,” he says.
White hopped a plane to Las Vegas and never looked back, narrowly avoided a bout he almost certainly would have lost.
As any boxer will tell you, even the most scientific approach to the Sweet Science must leave a little room for serendipity, intangibles, emergent opportunities that only reveal themselves in the ring—that split second where your opponent’s heel slips just enough to throw him off balance, the tiny hiccup when he gets temporarily dazzled by the klieg lights and leaves himself open to a quick uppercut under the chin. These opportunities inevitably present themselves in any fight, but it is up to the fighter to make the most of them.
For White, such an opportunity came when he attended a friend’s wedding and became reacquainted with an old school friend named Lorenzo Fertitta, who was quickly making a name for himself running the Vegas casinos he co-owned with his brother Frank. White and the Fertittas quickly bonded over a mutual love for the Sport of Kings, and resolved to work together one day.
In the meantime, White’s own interests expanded from boxing to the nascent world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), a young sport that promised no-holds-barred action from athletes trained in fighting styles ranging from wrestling to Muay Thai and everything in between. White was soon managing a few MMA fighters who featured in bouts presented by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), a promotional company that positioned itself as MMA’s dominant presence. Drawn into a contract dispute with UFC on behalf of his fighters, White did what any David would do when outmatched by a towering Goliath: He looked for an angle, an approach that would let him floor an opponent who could destroy him head-on. He looked for that key opening, that chink in the giant’s armor, and he found it.
“I ended up finding that out, that they’re in trouble and they’re probably going to go out of business,” White says. “And I’d been to a [UFC] event, and I was looking around and thinking, ‘Imagine if they did this, and imagine if they did that. This thing could actually be really big.’ [So] I called [the Fertittas] and I said, ‘I think the UFC’s in trouble. And I think we can buy it. I think we should do this.’”
The brothers agreed, and in January 2001, they formed parent company Zuffa, LLC and bought UFC, with White serving as president. Under their joint stewardship, UFC secured sanctioning for fights in Nevada, and were able to use Las Vegas as the headquarters of what would become a multinational empire.
Today, the dream that inspired White to get into the fighting game so many years before has become a reality. UFC is the undisputed champion of the MMA world, with fights in 175 countries, over 100 UFC training facilities worldwide and a television presence that has reached over a billion households.
But that doesn’t mean that the fight is over.
“You always think that there’s gonna be that day when, if we get to this level, then we can kind of cruise a little bit and kick back, [but] there’s no cruise,” White says. “There’s no kick back. This thing is just a beast and it just goes and goes and goes and goes.”
This isn’t a problem for White, though, because he’s always had a secret weapon, a special move that has always made him a formidable opponent: “The thing where I’ve always been lucky is, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.”
And that means, although the size and scale of his fight have expanded exponentially, White is all too happy to keep right on fighting.
How to book Dana White?
Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Dana White for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Dana White, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Dana White or any other celebrity of your choice.
How much does it cost to book Dana White?
Booking fees for Dana White, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Dana White, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
Who is the agent for Dana White?
All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Dana White for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Dana White for your next private or corporate function.
What is a full-service talent booking agency?
All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Dana White or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Dana White or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
Dana White is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Dana White for your event is . Dana White generally travels from Las Vegas, NV, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Viola Davis, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Rashida Jones and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Dana White for an upcoming event.
We are happy to assist you with your interest in booking a speaker or celebrity for your event, your organization, and the type of talent you would like to secure, and an agent will be in touch shortly.
Fill out the form below to or call us at 1-800-698-2536 if need immediate assistance.
This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.
All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.