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01st Oct 2016

Dana White had a strange reaction to his $360m UFC jackpot

He went Howard Hughes

Patrick McCarry

We are into a new era for the Ultimate Fighting Championship but there’s more than a few familiar faces helping us along.

UFC president Dana White says his role with the promotion has not changed despite him being a whole lot richer.

According to White, the first offer to buy the UFC was received back in 2009. It was $1.3bn.

As we now know, White and the Fertitta family said no.

“It was just another day for me,” he said. “Just another offer.”

Seven years later and a bid of $4.2bn was lodged by WME-IMG. White says there were higher bids but they went with the new owners as they would ‘take the UFC to the next level’.

As we found out today, part of the new deal is investment from the likes of Ben Affleck, Tom Brady, Serena Williams, Can Newton and more. You should expect to see UFC fighters filtering into mainstream media over the coming months and years. We can just picture Urijah Faber in a re-boot of Two and A Half Men.

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The Fertitta family accepted the multi-billion bid and White, who has remained as president, received in the region of $360m for his shares.

His reaction to hitting the jackpot was somewhat unexpected. In fact, it was something The Simpsons’ Mr Burns could relate to. White told Hot 97FM:

“I was a mess. I literally went up to a hotel room in Vegas and Howard Hughes-ed myself up there for two days. I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep. 

“I just kept watching… because this thing was all over the TV. It was the biggest deal in the history of sports. It was everywhere and it bugged me out a little.”

White admits he was uncomfortable hearing his own money being discussed, morning to night, on a slew of TV sports, news and entertainment shows.

“Every time I turned on the TV they were talking about how much money I had and how much I was getting,” he said. “A lot of people knew my deal, going forward. It was weird.”

“It’s why I have so much respect for these people in sports. Their numbers are everywhere,” he added.

Two days later, White arrived down from the hotel room and was ready to go again.

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Dana White,UFC