Dana White is the president of the UFC. He’s also one of the reasons the UFC went from an underground bloodsport worth a few million dollars once condemned by the US government, to a professional sports league that operates under the auspices of the government’s appointed officers, now worth more than $7 billion. This might be why Dana White has been able to get away with behavior that would call for the termination of employment for most commissioners and GM’s in the NFL, NHL, or the NBA.
The controversial president of the most globally recognized pro sport based out of the United States often exploits the drama that occurs outside of competition between his athletes, and sometimes the drama includes illegal activity.
In April 2018 Connor McGregor and a private jet full of his hooligan friends flew from Dublin to Brooklyn, NY to confront fellow competitor Khabib Nurmagomedov at a media event. McGregor and his crew found Khabib, who was on a bus being transported by the company and commenced to break windows on the bus by throwing objects. This ultimately leads to retaliation by Khabib and his associates, as they unexpectedly started a brawl at UFC 229 in October, after their in-cage fight. These are actions that can be answered by criminal charges, but behavior like this typically ends up being a selling point for future fights. Dana White has the ultimate poker face when putting on the notion that he is appalled, but behind the scenes is directing staff to create video packages and other promotional material that publicly exploits this behavior.
This might be one of the main reasons that Dana White has refused to push to make UFC a publicly traded company. He wouldn’t get away with half of his promotional antics if he had shareholders to answer to. White’s poker face has paid off outside of the promotion; in 2014 he won so big at the card table at the Palms in Vegas his limit per hand was lowered from $25k to $5k.