Dana White names fighters capable of becoming future UFC superstars
White is definitely investing in the future
Dana White could have comfortably retired early following WME-IMG's $4 billion acquisition of the UFC three years ago but instead his desire to take his organisation to the next level only intensified.
The long-time UFC president signed a seven-year contract extension this week in the wake of his company's lucrative deal with ESPN.
And following on from the success of the UFC's Performance Institute in Las Vegas, plans are underway to set up similar facilities in Mexico, China and Puerto Rico.
As the superstars of yesteryear like Georges St-Pierre retire and legends like Anderson Silva take their curtain call, White has identified the stars of the future.
"You never really know if someone is going to be a big star but there is never a shortage of up-and-coming talent. I can go on for days with up-and-coming people," White told Megan Olivi.
"Petr Yan! 'Sugar' Sean O’Malley who has been out for a while and been hurt and I’m excited for him to get back. Ricky Simon. You've got Kron Gracie, who just looked incredible in his debut on ESPN. Roosevelt Roberts from the Contender Series who I’m super excited about. I love this kid’s story," he said.
"Geoff Neal. Ben Askren just came in, a veteran who has been around for a long time but hasn’t been in the UFC. Coming off an incredible, controversial, fun fight in his first fight in the UFC against 'Ruthless' Robbie Lawler.
"You've got Maycee Barber coming up. This girl, I love the way she talks. And when I say 'talks', I love the way she texts me and the crazy things she says to me. She wants to be a world champion. I love these type of things and these type of people.
"Zabit, who just came off a big win as the main event. Israel Adesanya who is going to fight for the interim title here soon. Marlon Moraes!
"I could go on. I mean I could go on for days and keep talking about up-and-coming talent that are either going to become big stars or become staples in the top 10 in the sport. Fighters who people love to tune in and watch fight.”