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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Who is Dana White?

Who is Dana White?  The entertainment and MMA world knows him as the current President of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), a mixed martial arts organization based in the United States.

Biography

White was born July 28, 1969 in Manchester, Connecticut on July 28, 1969,[2] White grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada and Levant, Maine. White is a passionate Boston Red Sox fan. During his youth, he bounced back and forth between Boston and Maine. He attended the University of Massachusetts Boston but did not finish; however, while there he did launch a boxing program for inner-city youth.[3]
White has a background as an aerobics instructor. In 1992, White established Dana White Enterprises in Las Vegas. He conducted aerobics classes at three gyms[4] in the Las Vegas area and began managing MMA fighters Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell.
While working as a manager, White learned that Semaphore Entertainment Group, the parent company of the UFC, was looking for a buyer for the UFC. White contacted childhood friend Lorenzo Fertitta, an executive at Station Casinos, and a former commissioner of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Within a month, Lorenzo and his older brother Frank bought the UFC, with White installed as its president.[5] White currently owns 9% of Zuffa, LLC, the entity the Fertitta brothers created to own and manage the UFC.[3]

Controversy

Loretta Hunt

On April 1, 2009, White was videotaped in a verbal tirade against Loretta Hunt, a sportswriter for Sherdog, in response to an article she wrote. In the video posted on his YouTube account, White used derogatory language in an obscenity-laced rant. The video was pulled from his official UFC YouTube page but has been widely republished across the internet and come under fire, including by GLAAD for his use of anti-gay slurs.[6][7][8] White would later apologize for his slurs. He specifically did not include Hunt in the apology.[9] Hunt responded by saying "I stand by the story. It's accurate."

Charity

In December 2010 White donated $50,000 for a life-saving surgery for the 7-month-old daughter of a popular Thai MMA trainer at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand.[10] In a similar act of charity in 2010, White donated approximately $8,000 to help pay for the brain tumor treatment of two-year-old British girl, Ruby Owen. The young girl's family had described themselves as being "shocked and over the moon". Ruby Owen's uncle, being a UFC fan had contacted White via email and asked if he could help by donating to the Ruby Owen fund raising website. White and Owen have never officially met.[11] In an act of compassion towards a fan, he gave $300 dollars to one man without hesitation who said that he "just received a speeding ticket while racing across town to meet him".[12] Shortly after being named 2009 Nevada Sportsman of The Year, White added $100,000 from his pocket to the $250,000 total raised for the fund raising marathon sponsored by ESPN Radio 1100 for Las Vegas. [13]

Feud with M-1 Global

After signing negotiations with M-1 Global Russian Heavyweight MMA fighter Fedor Emelianenko fell through in 2009,[14] White and the UFC became the subject of debate and criticism from fans and experts alike. On several occasions, White referred to Emelianenko as "a fake, a phony and a farce.[15] [16]
On June 26th, 2010 following Emelianenko's first legitimate defeat of his career to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Fabricio Werdum, White shared a simple ":)" via Twitter.[17] The same symbol was expressed by White following Emelianenko's 2nd round doctor stoppage loss to Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva in the opening round of the 2011 Strikeforce GP.[18] White followed this with an insult to Fedor's manager and M-1 Global President Vadim Finkelstein.[19] This began a war of words on the social networking site. M-1 Global’s director of operations, Evgeni Kogan, stood up for Finkelstein and invited White to repeat his words to Finkelstein in person. When fans attempted to reason with White, they were met with similar contempt and insults[20]
Fedor Emelianenko and White have never officially met,[21] although White has claimed to have met Emelianenko on a "crazy island in the middle of nowhere".[22] In 2011, Emelianenko denied that this encounter ever took place.[23]

Accomplishments

 

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