For most MMA fans, Dana White's name brings one of two emotions. Some recognize his abilities and what he has done for the world of MMA. Others cannot get past his regular use, and apparent patent of the F-bomb.
Either way, you have to give Dana respect. You may not like him, but like and respect are two separate issues.
I don't pretend to know Zuffa productions, UFC's marketing group, operates. But we can at least ask a few questions and make a few statements.
Question: Have Dana's abilities peaked?
Answer: This is yet to be determined. Dana has taken the UFC and made it a household name for those with the Y chromosome. At the same time, the UFC still lacks the mainstream media attention it deserves for the world class fighters it possesses. The next five years are vital to making the sport as mainstream as boxing.
Question: What does Dana do to continue the UFC's growth?
Answer: Continue what he has already done. Growth does not happen overnight, not for a promotion like MMA. Most people outside of the MMA world believe the MMA is a brutal sport, with no rules, and neanderthals inside of it.
This could not be farther from the truth. If there is one thing Dana can do to get a little more media credibility, he must address the Martial Arts foundation, how MMA was formed, the discipline that is involved in a training regimen, and that these professional athletes are performing a job.
Question: What should Dana stop doing?
Answer: Dana is Dana. He is not going to change and I don't expect him to. He could polish himself a little. Dana is known for being blunt, rude, obnoxious, and dropping the F-Bomb like its going out of style.
This is a MAJOR detractent for the casual viewer and ruins the credibility of the fighters. When educated fans hear the UFC President talk like that, game over. They are lost before they are ever fans.
Now, I realize this is a fighting promotion, but its still very early, and we need everyone to realize this is a legitimate promotion with world class fighters and promoters.
Question: Where should Dana's focus be?
Answer: The past, present, and the future. Dana must pay homage to the fighters that have brought this sport to the cusp of greatness. He must pay attention to the current fights that are in the mix. At this point, I'd say the UFC is as stacked with talent as its ever been.
For the future, Dana better start making long term plans for this sport. I am not saying he has not done that.
But contracts, fighter unions, and what to do with fighters that are at the end of their careers must be addressed for the UFC and MMA community to grow, and be considered a legitimate sport.
Well, those are a few of my thoughts on Dana White, and how he could continue to grow the UFC, make the rest of the world realize what an incredible event this is, and how this is the evolution of combat sports.
What are your thoughts?