Twenty years ago today, the Ultimate Fighting Championship officially introduced the world to mixed martial arts. With the promotion set to host their 253rd show this Saturday with “UFC 167: St-Pierre vs. Hendricks,” president Dana White sits down with ESPN.com for an extended interview to talk past, present and future.
Zuffa, LLC was formulated in January 2001 when White convinced buddies Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta to purchase the fledgling organization for $2 million. Under their near-13-year watch, the UFC is now reportedly a billion-dollar company, has been showcased in countless countries, scored a blockbuster network television deal, rivals WWE in pay-per-view revenue and, for the most part, surpassed boxing as the world’s premier combat sport.
There are still many goals White and the Fertittas hope to accomplish before they someday decided to sell the company, with hosting a show inside New York’s famed Madison Square Garden signifying the ultimate feather in their cap.
It was like the perfect storm for MMA when Zuffa came together. It will be fun to see where this sport goes in the next 20 years.
Cheers, UFC. Because of your accomplishments, I don’t have to work a regular 9 to 5 for stupid corporate America again.
Please click the media player below to watch White’s extended interview: