Dana White says the FOX deal is his biggest accomplishment, only has one regret


In a recent interview with FuelTV, UFC President Dana White tells Ariel Helwani that the Fox TV deal was his biggest accomplishment since taking the mantle for Zuffa. While the ratings are not out of the park like they had hoped, the deal has come a long way to establishing MMA as a mainstream sport. White also states that he has only regret during that time, and it was using some questionable and insensitive language on a video blog. In a year full of mass confusion for the UFC, it is interesting to hear what White cites as his number-one regret.

  • Helwani has a privileged position with Dana because he tows the line.

    The problem is EVERYONE can see it but he still makes out like he’s some sort of incendiary firestarting journalist who asks really difficult questions.

  • Jem

    Helwani is garbage.

  • hey he is cool. i think he has charisma when alot of interviewers dont. atleast sometimes he jokes around and brings out some sides of fighters we dont usually see. plus he has a good sense of sarcasm. I MEAN REALLY? how can u hate ariel? the guy has made a name for himself, but sure go watch some spencer lazar or karyn bryant interviews,those are so much more interesting, right?

  • Bryant does a decent job.

    The problem with Ariel is he is, and got to where he stands today by being “a UFC guy”. He might ask certain questions that could be considered halfway tough, but most of those are pre-arranged anyway. Sure, he’s halfway funny at times (some think so, I personally don’t get entertained by anything he does), but that does not make him a investigative journalist (which he portrays himself as).

    Now, to be frank, I don’t dislike him at all for what he does. If I had the opportunity to be in his position I’d take it in a second.

  • Jem

    I don’t know if anyone hates him, he just sucks at being a reporter. Could you imagine him trying to do in interview in the NBA, NFL, MLB? He would be eaten alive.

  • I think Helwani paid his dues to be where he is…I think he does ask tough straight up and sometimes stupid questions,he’s dull and dresses odd but over -all i enjoy his video’s and inside news.

  • I dont hate him. He just puts on a show in my book. Like Evan says below, he pretends to ask tough questions but there no that tough.

    He could ask things that would make Dana mad (like fighters pay etc) but he skirts round them. Then asks other people not involved with the UFC about them (pat miletich) when he could have just asked Dana. He just doesn’t wanna lose access so he is a UFC lapdog.

    He also constantly mixes it. I would say trying to creat conflict is too strong a way of wording it but thats essentially what he does. I don’t buy for a second that Mitrione just “happened” to call when rampage was on.

    Total set up

  • I think Jay Glazier is the best person for this job… Glazier should also get Jon Aniks job…. He is also tough because he uses that resistance punch device all the time. I mean cmon Dan Hendo uses it too, thats where the H Bomb comes from

  • Jem
  • Jem
  • so it surprises u that meathead called in on a show that he makes regular appearances to talk crap to rampage? were talking about a guy that loves to pick on lightheavyweights. i dont think it was set up. mitrione is a bully

  • Can you blame him though? The folks who have asked hard questions (like Josh Gross) have found themselves robbed of their press credentials and therefore unable to cover the sport. As long as the UFC threatens the media with this kind of mafioso BS, most journalists are going to tow the line. One the exceptions to this is Ben Fowlkes (listen to the CME podcast if you want to hear some refreshingly frank discussion on MMA) and yet, Ben pays for this in many ways by not having anywhere near the sort of access that Ariel has. At the very least, Helwani provides both the promoter and fighters with an opportunity to get their voice heard and that’s generally a good thing.

    Also, while Helwani isn’t especially in your face with Dana, he does talk about stuff that I’m sure the UFC would rather he didn’t, such as TUF being completely stale and the need for fighter’s unions. He also has guys from Bellator on his show on a regular basis, as well as guys from Strikeforce, even before they were bought over.

  • I really don’t understand all he hate Helwani gets, I mean he is easily the best or at least one of the best journalists in the business.

    He worked his way up and maybe he got special privileges on his way up but ever thought that was because Dana thought he was simply a great journalist?

    It’s funny I remember when he was a smaller name and he had a cult following, now everyone just jumps on the hate bandwagon and has moved on to loving Karyn Braynt (also a good journalist).

    Ahwell he’s getting more recognition for his work everyday and I will always be thankful for how he stood up to Bob Arum while most would be on their knees sucking

  • @ johndo11: I think we give Ariel’s acting skills way too much credit when we speculate on questions being prearranged. If you watch his segments on Fuel where he ‘debates’ fighters, he’s so poor at hiding the fact that those segments are staged that it’s almost funny.

    He certainly does do a lot of instigating, but at the same time he’s also providing the fighters with the opportunity to get their voice heard and sell fights. Whether we like the shtick or not, Helwani gets the fact that conflict between fighters sells fights and attracts fans to the sport and does his part to play-up those aspects. I’m not a fan of that stuff myself, but I certainly don’t blame the guy for doing what he does.

  • When you see how much time and access the fighters give him (check out his NYC and Tokyo segments with Rampage for instance), it’s pretty clear they have at least a modicum of respect for what he does. If the fighters appreciate him, WTF should we as fans be hating on him for doing a decent job providing the fighters with a platform to sell their fights?

  • Ariel is what he is. Yes he’s a lap dog at times but that’s smart for the profession he’s in. I do find it interesting that fighters such as Rampage seem to put a lot of trust in him. He’s not Bob Costas but then again no one is at this relatively early stage of the modern MMA journalist.

  • **** that joke, **** HunterB… i weaked that bitch too.

  • Real smart guy this Dana White, he’s a prick but his business-sense is on point…


  • Yeah cause he used to ask difficult questions. At some point i reckon he had a private conversation with dana… He definitely started to take it much easier on the powers that be in the UFC and he never used to.

  • Yes Bryant and all her hard hitting questions about the UFC….

  • Im sure you would take it in a second from Ariel !


  • Jem

    Helwani sucks.

  • Ariel worked his way up from the professional wrestling scene. It’s not a coincidence that his following started to grow when Brock Lesnar (and by proxy) more wrestling fans took more of an interest in MMA. This also let him understand that the easiest path to success was be in a good relationship with the top promoter, and to stay the course (so to speak).

    Bryant isn’t really that good of a “journalist” either. She’s a good personality that has a good rapport with fighters, and does a lot of work to add to her skills (she’s one of the only Americans to learn Portuguese.

    Do you know how many writers, personalities, and journalists “stand up” to Bob Arum on a daily basis? He gets called on his bullshit everyday (as does ODLH and Richard Schaefer). Ariel doing it was not a particularly tough proposition.

  • Bryant is clearly the worst journalist in the mma community. Annoying interviews, annoying laugh and pretending to be best friends with every fighter.

    At least Ariel doesn’t try to blow every fighter he interviews.