Endeavor hands White new seven-year contract as UFC president
Dana White has penned a new seven-year contract to remain as president of mixed martial arts' Ultimate Fighting Championship.
White revealed in an interview on UFC's YouTube channel that he had been offered, and accepted, a contract by Ari Emanuel, co-chief executive of Endeavor, UFC's parent company.
White has run UFC since 2001, and stayed with the organisation when it was acquired by Endeavor (then WME-IMG) in 2016 for more than $4 billion. It is understood he earned over $350 million from his stake.
In a 2017 interview with the LA Times, he revealed he had no plans to quit UFC, saying: "Not only am I not going anywhere, I’m actually making moves in the office… and changing things for the way I really want it. I’m burrowing myself in like a… tick."
White's contract extension comes in the week UFC struck a deal with ESPN+, for the OTT streaming service of the Walt Disney-owned US sports network to become the exclusive distributor of its pay-per-view events in USA to 2025.
Just last year ESPN and UFC signed a domestic rights deal to 2023, which has now been extended by two years to coincide with the PPV agreement.
In the YouTube interview White said: "Ari and I just signed a seven-year deal. So we’re here for seven years, ESPN is here for seven years. And the incredible things that we’re gonna work on, I just can’t even tell you how pumped I am for all of this stuff.”
The 49-year-old added: “Nobody believes in this business more than I do. After the sale, I stayed on and we’ve been working hard for the last two and a half years to take this thing to the next level. That’s why I’m here. I didn’t stay here - it’s not about money, it’s not about any of that stuff. I don’t care about any of that stuff.
“I like to win and I like to take this thing to the next level, the next level, the next level. And it’s what we’ve done and it’s what we’re gonna continue to do.
“A lot of big things have happened to us over the years, but once you make it to ESPN, you know you’ve made it as a sport. And right now, if you look at our deal, where we’re at, what we’re doing, we’re now one of the top four sports in the United States.
“The Big Four has changed. We are now one of them.”