Image Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
Sure, television ratings might be struggling, PPV sales are sluggish and media attention has seemingly turned away from the UFC here in the United States, but that doesn’t deter Dana White who wants you to know that business has never been better. That’s Dana White’s story and he’s sticking to it. This weekend sees UFC 175 on Saturday followed by The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale featuring BJ Penn vs. Frankie Edgar, so this is truly a huge weekend for the UFC and Dana White, yet it feels like there is less hype or marketing for this than past events.
Weird, right? If you think that it’s weird or that the UFC is doing things wrong then Dana White wants you to know that you are wrong, because listening to criticism is not in the cards. [source]
“This business has never been bigger and never been crazier,” White said. ” … I hear all this [expletive] about the Fight Pass cards, but Americans can’t wrap their heads around the fact we’re not doing those cards for them. The fights are for the people in those countries. Say what you want about a card, but there is nothing like a live UFC event. We’ve found that people who go to one of our live events tend to become regular UFC fans. We are looking at a total attendance in these fight cards of 60,000, so those are 60,000 people we’re developing into UFC fans.
“We put the fights on Fight Pass so that the hard core people who might want to watch them have a way to see them. This has nothing to do with us trying to sell those fights to the fans here. If you want to watch them, great, it’s 10 bucks a month. We have Roy Nelson and Mark Hunt fighting in Japan coming up. That’s going to be an unreal fight. If you want to see it, it’s 10 bucks and you can cancel it after a month. If you don’t want to see those cards, we don’t give a [expletive] because we’re not doing the shows for anybody but the country’s we’re doing them in. We’re putting the shows on for the people in these other markets where they can see the shows live in their prime time instead of having to watch at 3, 4 or 5 in the morning.”