White: UFC “[Doesn’t] Need Blue-Chip Sponsors”

Main Entry: dis·pa·rate
Pronunciation: \ˈdis-p(ə-)rət, di-ˈsper-ət, -ˈspa-rət\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English desparat, from Latin disparatus, past participle of disparare to separate, from dis- + parare to prepare

1 : containing or made up of fundamentally different and often incongruous elements
2 : markedly distinct in quality or character

UFC ring sponsor logos
(Some of UFC’s many sponsors on display.)

An enterprising young cameraman representing ULTMMA.COM (we assume the ULT stands for “ultimate” and that it’s not an acronym for, like, “unitards, leotards, and thongs”; that would be a horrible development for the sport) caught up with MMA head honcho Dana White down in Arizona recently. During the 5-minute interview, which was only mildly profane and thus White at his most subdued, White claims (among other things) that he and UFC don’t need “blue-chip” sponsors. That he was only in Arizona to attend a finance convention doesn’t seem to affect such a statement. Video of the interview (NSFW language) is after the break.

As RECALL points out, there’s a bit of disparity between White’s words and the underlying facts:

Dana uses the video interview below to reinforce that Zuffa and the UFC are happy to go it alone and say “screw you” to the big blue chip brands or big headed athletes. Me thinks this is pretty ironic. Zuffa recently announced a 100M loan and Dana White is doing this very interview from a finance convention. A finance convention! They may not need Bud Light, but it appears they need something to keep everyone satisfied and cut the right checks to bring back Dana’s good friend Rampage and keep Urijah, from the WEC, happy.

Let’s back up a little bit, by the way, to February 2008. Does this sound like someone who’s just accepted something he doesn’t need? From MMAMANIA.COM:

“Landing Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light is huge for us, our fighters and especially our fans. We’ve got the number one selling beer in the world and one of the top marketers in all of sports as our sponsor. If our TV ratings, pay-per-view buys and venue sell-outs weren’t enough, this definitely cements UFC as a major player in sports business.”

But alas, it sounds like Bud Light’s no longer necessary, as with every sponsor. Hmm.