Commentary

UFC's Dana White gives thanks

Originally Published: November 25, 2009
By Dana White | Special to Page 2


I've got a laundry list of stuff to be thankful for.

• I'm thankful, first and foremost, for my family and friends. My good friends -- and yes, I do have some of them -- the real ones who are there through it all, even when stuff goes bad.

• I'm obviously very, very thankful for the UFC and for guys like Chuck Liddell, Matt Hughes, Forrest Griffin, guys who have been real partners to us and who have really helped us build this business.

• I'm thankful for Bruce Lee. I've said it a million times: He's the father of mixed martial arts. He was so far ahead of his time.

• I'm very thankful for technology. It's funny to think that when we started the UFC, the only way we could distribute was through three pay-per-view outlets. Now, we've got streaming on the Internet, video blogs and everything else.

• I'm thankful for Twitter, which took me awhile to warm up to at first but now I have a blast and it's one of my favorite ways to connect with the fans of the sport.

• I'm thankful for Pinkberry. I love Pinkberry! I'm like addicted to it. I'm very thankful for my favorite: a large original with Fruity Pebbles. So good, I get really excited about Pinkberry.

• I'm thankful for food, in general. I'm not thankful for how much I love to eat, though. You go out and buy all these nice suits and then you gotta try to stay in 'em. I'm thankful for my suit pants -- they're the referee in trying to keep my weight down. That's my thing, I don't ever change my waist size. I keep it the same, and if they start to get tight, then I have to lose weight.

• Caffeine and coffee -- none of that makes my list. I don't touch any of it. Never. No thanks. Listen to me, do you think I need it? I hate it. I'd be a lunatic if I had caffeine.

• Shaving your head is no fun endeavor, let me tell you. It has taken a lot of trial and error, but there's something I'm very thankful for, sweetheart -- the Venus razor. You know the chick razor with the gooey stuff on the side? Yeah, that's what I shave my head with, it's true. Funny, right? I'd look like a nicked-up freak without that thing.

• I'm thankful for Canada. Those fans up there are awesome. If the United States MMA market was like the Canadian market, the UFC would be even bigger than it is now.

• I'm thankful for the day and age that I can wear a T-shirt to a big meeting.

• I will occasionally go out and drink. I told you I'm thankful for my buddies, but I'm not thankful for what they do to me. One of my buddies I grew up with, my old roommate from Boston, Donny, came out here to Vegas this week. I haven't seen him in years so we have been going hard every night, nonstop. I'm very thankful that he's going home and I hope I don't see him for another 10 years!

• It sounds funny saying this but I'm really thankful that I got to experience so many places and meet all kinds of people in different cultures. Boston was really different from Vegas. And Las Vegas is really different than Levant, Maine. I'm thankful I had the chance to live the difference.

• I'm thankful for Las Vegas. I honestly and truly think it's the greatest city on Earth. It is for me and guys like me, anyway. I go a million miles an hour no matter what and this is the city built for that. It's always open. There's always excitement and energy and something to do. That's me. That's who I am and that's the life I live. I'm very thankful for this city that never disappoints.

• I'm thankful for the jet. That makes travel a little easier.

• I'm thankful for the passionate, psychotic lunatics who are the fans of the UFC. Not only will they come and blast me when they think something's wrong, they also travel all over the place, buy the events, stand by the sport, and I'm very thankful for their energy and support.

• I love this life. I have so much to be thankful for. I'm reminded of that every single day.

Dana White is president of the UFC. He spoke with ESPN columnist Mary Buckheit for this column.