Dana White just did a big two page interview with Sports Illustrated and rather than your standard interview where he blows smoke up our asses and shills his fightproduct, this one gets into some pretty interesting territory. Namely, the ‘Why have things kinda sucked over the past 6 months and what are you going to do about it’ territory.
SI.com: What’s the solution?
White: I don’t know, I don’t know. There is no solution right now. The hard part is, this company’s going through these growing pains right now as we continue to get bigger and continue to work on all the things we’re working on. For the last nine months we’ve been going a million miles an hour, working on all these other deals in the business, you know. Now, we got some things done that … I feel comfortable we’re going to start reeling this thing in and making some changes over the next three, four months.
SI.com: What are you looking at?
White: First of all, there’re things going on that I’m unhappy with, here at the company, that we’re going to fix and change over the next few months, and you’re going to see us get back on track here in the next few months. As you start to get bigger and you start to expand into all these different places, and you’re working on all these crazy deals, things start to get out of control. I’m going to get some more control around here in the next three months. And that includes my business as a whole, my actual office and employees and departments, right down to s— that’s going on with the fighters.
SI.com: So you’re talking about big developments in the next six months, and without pulling the rabbit of the hat and all that, at the end of the year, what are we going to say was the big development? What improved?
White: Everything’s going to improve. Everything’s going to change, and everything’s going to improve over the next six months. This really isn’t the conversation for right now, I’m still working on some s—. In six months, when you and I talk again, you’re going to go, “You were right, man. You were right.”
SI.com: I’ll await future developments with interest.
White: There’s one thing that you can’t deny. It’s that every year we take this thing to another level. Every year, we have literally taken this thing to another level. There’s never been a year where we’ve been like, “Yeesh, we didn’t really accomplish anything this year, and we’ve been stagnant, we’ve stayed the same, nothing has changed.” Every year, not only does this thing go to another level, but we’ve revolutionized — revolutionized! — the fight industry. Wouldn’t you say that?
SI.com: I think this is the one year where you could argue that you’ve stayed stagnant. And I don’t mean to come off as the negative questioner —
White: No, I love it, man! The year isn’t over yet, and you are wrong. And not only am I going to say that you are wrong, and that not only have we gone to another level this year, but that this will be the biggest year ever! If you look at all the things we’ve accomplished over the last 10 years, this will be the biggest year ever.
Well, right now we can see up to November and if it wasn’t for a potentially amazing October (I’ll believe it when we get there and we haven’t lost half the headlining fights to gypsy curse madness) I’d call Dana White a big ol fibber. That’s right, I said it. Fib diddly didder.
It will be interesting to see what he means about changes to the product and the way the UFC runs, though. I wonder how many of these are going to be visible to the average fan or if they boil down to better executive parking and a more comfortable throne built out of the corpses of worthless peons that have fucked things up.
I can’t disagree that things have gotten a bit stale … rather than creating an MMA masterpiece, it’s been pretty paint by numbers lately. As for how to fix it, I dunno. How about I finish this post by asking you guys what you think needs to be done? And just to sweeten the pot and give you lazy jackals some incentive to dig deep and pull out some good ideas, I’m gonna give out Fightlinker Shwaaa shirts to the three people with the best thoughts. This is a one day thing, I’ll announce the winners and share the ideas tomorrow.