By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
“Yeah. We lived with [competition] for a long time… The reality is, there really hasn’t been anything (as a credible rival) since Pride. Pride was the one that was the big competition. They put on all these big fights. They actually created stars, much like we do. Could I have lived with that? I did live with it. I lived with it for years.
It’s fun. I like the competition. I love it. I f***ing thrive on it. That’s the s*** that gets me up in the morning. Make no f***ing mistake about it. I am a competitor and I like to compete. And we do it in lots of things. It’s not just other organizations that are out there or other fight companies. It’s for pay-per-view numbers. For ratings on television. For sponsorships. For everything. Everything that you do when you own business is you compete.
Not to mention the fact that I also feel like we compete against other sports leagues. We look at other sports leagues and say, ‘Ok, we can be this big or bigger. How do we do it? How do we get up every day and work and push the envelope and take it to the next level?’
It’s hilarious to me that when all the media and the fans talk about stuff – when you guys talk about Strikeforce and Affliction and IFL and all these other guys that were out there. Come on, if that’s seriously what you guys think is our f***ing competition, you guys are f***ing way out of the loop. Way, way, way, way out of the f***ing loop.
My competition is the NFL. My competition is Major League Baseball. My competition is these other networks. I look much bigger than that.”
-UFC President Dana White talks to Sergio Non at USAToday about what he considers competition to the UFC.
Penick’s Analysis: White’s right about competition in MMA, as regardless of which company was running fights outside of the organization, they were never anywhere close to true competition for the UFC. They are trying to make the UFC a force in the entire sports world, not just in its own universe, and though they aren’t close to where they want to be, that’s what is driving their continued expansion and the moves that they continue to make. Whether they can ever actually reach the level of Major League Baseball or the NFL is questionable, but that’s what they’ll be attempting to do over the next decade and beyond.