Dana White web chat with Seattletimes.com

March 24, 2011

Dana White participated in a web chat Wednesday on the Seattle Times web site. The chat was a part of promoting this Saturday’s UFC Fight Night in Seattle.

White discussed many topics including some interesting business issues:

– White expected the Seattle show to be about 8,000 in attendance but now about 14,000 tickets have been sold. “This thing ended up being a mini-Toronto.”

– White was asked if there would be trouble with “monopoly laws” since the UFC owns all of the “major MMA organizations?” White stated, “There’s no barrier to entry to get into this. All you need is a bunch of cash and a big set of balls. There’s no barrier to entry to get into this thing. It’s not like we make computer chips or something.”

– Someone asked whether the online viewing experience was going to get better. According to the person asking the question, “The PPV streaming is not very good right now, and certainly not worth the television cost, even with the “features”.  White bristled at this question, or the way it was asked:

“I think it depends on your computer. If you’re still watching with dial-up. I can see why you would have a bad experience. We test this stuff. It’s not like we just throw this stuff and say, ‘Oh, I hope this works for everybody.’ And if you don’t have a good computer, but it on TV. Or go to a bar.

– When asked whether the fighters should have a union White responded, “It’s up to the fighters if they want to have a union.”

– Someone asked whether the UFC would go public to which White said no.

– White liked the success of Jon Jones’ “In the Moment” special on Spike TV and the UFC plans to have another one but no one is scheduled to be on next.

–  The UFC will continue with the 3D experience as it first experimented with it at UFC on Versus 3.

– White talks to WWE head Vince McMahon “a couple times a year about the UFC and wrestling.”

Odds and ends

– White can benchpress 315 pounds. If he can do that, I wonder how much Lorenzo Fertitta can bench. He looks much more in shape that White.

-Cain Velasquez won’t be ready until November. If so, it will be over a year since the UFC HW belt will be defended.

– Shane Carwin’s opponent at UFC 131 was revealed.

– White believed that Tito Ortiz could have competed this Saturday despite Ortiz’ injury.

Payout Perspective:

When asked about the “monopoly laws”, White used the term “barrier to entry” which is relevant to Antitrust laws as to whether the purchase of Strikeforce constituted a monopoly in the sport of mixed martial arts.

I thought the Vince McMahon question was interesting since MMA and pro wrestling are compared for better or worse. There are many parallels between White and McMahon and their businesses and it would be interesting to hear what they talk about.


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