For all the great things Dana White (pictured) has accomplished for mixed martial arts during his nearly 13-year stint as UFC president – getting the UFC back on pay-per-view, launching “The Ultimate Fighter” on Spike TV when nobody dared to touch MMA, selling out shows across the globe, scoring a major broadcast deal with FOX, etc. – White was forced to pay homage to combat sports’ true marketing master on Thursday.
According to Showtime, Floyd Mayweather’s blockbuster bout against Canelo Alvarez last Saturday shattered the all-time record for the highest-grossing PPV fight of all time, generating $150 million in revenue from 2.2 million buys.
Mayweather was guaranteed a whopping $41.5 million for merely stepping into the ring. However, it has been reported boxing’s biggest superstar will walk away with $100 million by the time his PPV bonus check arrives in the mail.
If anybody walking the face of the earth has that “It factor,” it’s Money May, and White knows exactly when the transformation began.
“Let’s face the facts, Floyd Mayweather, when he was ‘Pretty Boy Floyd,’ not that many people were interested,” White said. “When he became ‘Money Mayweather,’ he became this huge personality. I’m in this business. We create these shows to sell fights and entice people into these characters.
“I watched [the ‘All Access’] show, Floyd knows how to do it. Floyd took this money side, he’ll go out on one of the shows and bring a stack of money and buy a car. And it’s entertaining. People, whether they like it or they hate it, they’re invested in the fight. one way or the other – whether they want to see Floyd lose or win. He’s done a great job of selling himself that way.”
Outside of the matchup itself, the other major factor that generated buzz for the scrap was Showtime’s four-part “All Access” series. The documentary was so captivating, White watched each episode multiple times.
Unfortunately for White, the show was so convincing it cost him quite a bit of money.
White, a longtime boxing fanatic and gambler, had predicted Mayweather would win by decision from the jump. However, when it was time to hit the sportsbook, White admittedly “chickened out” and didn’t play the fight because of what he saw on the show.
White was sitting ring-side when Mayweather beat Canelo via majority decision inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Veags.