While mainstream America might not be ready to completely accept UFC president Dana White’s violent sport of mixed martial arts as legitimate athletic competition, the outspoken promoter has just joined a prestigious list of powerful bigwigs on “The 2010 TIME 100 Poll” by Time Magazine.
Here is how TIME profiled White for prospective voters:
“The sport White champions is officially called mixed-martial arts but he and his partners have successfully branded it Ultimate Fighting, the name of their outfit, and that’s how it’s almost universally known — to the chagrin of other MMA organizers. By doing so, he has revived a spectacle that had fallen into such disrepute that it was once described as ‘human cockfighting.’ Now, professional boxing wishes it were Ultimate Fighting. White is the UFC’s public face, most pugnacious booster, no. 1 tweeter, and irrepressible fan — the ruler of Fight Club.”
White has been the frontman for the UFC since convincing childhood friends, Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, to purchase the fledgling company back in 2001.
Less than 10 years later, the Zuffa, LLC – the parent company of the UFC and WEC – parlayed that initial $2 million dollar investment into building MMA’s reigning monopoly, which Forbes Magazine has estimated to be worth a little over $1 billion.
At the time of publication, White was tops on the exclusive VIP list just ahead of “Twilight” star Robert Patterson. Controversial talk show host Conan O’Brien, rapper Kanye West and even U.S. President Barack Obama made the list as well.
“UFC fans are the best! Thank you for the votes,” White posted on his Twitter Thursday afternoon.