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Dana White’s Net Worth Has Skyrocketed In Recent Years

And it’s not just because of the UFC

Whether you know a bunch about MMA or not, there’s a good chance you know who Dana White is. He’s the UFC President and has been since January of 2001. Back then, considering the sport’s perception in the mainstream and how popular it was, people might have turned their nose up at that title. But in 2020, when Dana White is worth an estimated $500 million, the tune has changed dramatically.

So how exactly did he make his fortune of half a billion dollars? Let’s find out.

Buying The UFC

Dana White has always been involved in combat sports in some form or fashion. He used to host boxercise classes in his younger days but more notably, he was the manager of legends Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz a couple of decades ago before things went way left with the latter. Back then, Bob Meyrowitz was the owner of Semaphore Entertainment Group, the UFC’s parent company. Dana met Bob, and the former learned that Bob was looking to sell the UFC. White jumped at the opportunity, contacting his old friend Lorenzo Fertitta who owned casinos in Vegas with his brother Frank. The two brothers and Dana ended up buying the company for just $2 million. However, that seems like daylight robbery now; back in the day, that price tag was looked at far too high. Attorneys were telling Lorenzo that he was spending seven figures on nothing. The trio had the foresight, though, and it paid off in the long term.

Selling The UFC

About fifteen years after White and the Fertitta’s acquisition of the UFC, they sold it. In July of 2016, it was announced that the UFC was being sold to WME-IMG for a whopping $4.02 billion. That’s more than 2,010 times what it was bought for, and it made the owners look like they had a crystal ball. When it sold, Dana White owned 9 percent of the company. That means that he took home nearly $363 million from the deal, a small fortune that makes up the biggest part of his net worth. When talking to Jimmy Kimmel about life after the deal, Dana said that he locked himself in a hotel room for a few days. “When this deal closed, it bugged me out a little bit… I have new partners now… I didn’t sleep or eat. It kinda freaked me out a bit,” he told Jimmy, joking that he didn’t answer family calls anymore.

Of course, that’s not even to mention the fact that unlike Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, Dana White kept his position at the company and remained the President. He was also given a new stake in the business as it continues to gross hundreds of millions annually.

Unlike the fighters, who are treated as independent contractors, Dana White does receive a salary. Although it hasn’t been confirmed, it is reported that the UFC President makes a colossal $20 million a year for running things. It’s a controversial topic because $20 million is more than 99.9% of fighters make, and I don’t think that anyone would argue that they have, by far, the hardest job in the organization. In Dana’s defense, whatever you think about him and the issue of fighter pay, he has had an integral part in making the UFC the household name that it is today and has earned every penny of his.

Gambling

Although it’s not something you should rely on to feed your family, winning in Vegas has earned Dana millions of dollars. He has been banned from the Palm, Hard Rock Casino, and more for winning millions at blackjack. Again, this isn’t the part of Dana’s story you should apply to your own life.

Future ventures

With the UFC being on ESPN now and The Ultimate Fighter on its way back, things are only looking up for Dana. He has also made a point of expanding with the UFC APEX, the UFC Performance Institute, and hotels that will soon be built.

In terms of things outside of the UFC, Dana has been talking about kicking off Zuffa Boxing for a while now. It was supposed to debut just over a year ago in October of 2019, but there was a delay, and the global pandemic can’t have helped. But every time Dana is asked about it, it seems he has high hopes for how it could impact the sport of boxing, and Floyd Mayweather’s name often comes up. If there were to be a Mayweather vs. McGregor rematch under the Zuffa banner, Dana would make millions on millions from it, even more than he did the first time. Either way, it’s going to be a venture that is fruitful for his pockets.

All in all, the UFC has been a gold mine for Dana that he is going to be making money from for the next few years, at least, after he signed a new deal just a few years back.

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