Dana White has revealed that Vince McMahon put a stop to the UFC getting a TV deal with USA Network.
The TKO Group owned by Endeavor has combined the UFC with WWE as a powerful entity that puts on massive live events all over the world. While UFC fights are real and WWE matches have predetermined results, they also have a lot of fans who watch both products.
Dana White has been the public face of the UFC for two decades as the former President of the company while he is now in the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the UFC.
Vince McMahon used to be the WWE Chairman & CEO who ran the WWE business for 40+ years, but now Paul “Triple H” Levesque is running the company creatively while Vince is working on the business end as WWE’s Executive Chairman. Following Endeavor’s purchase of WWE which became official in September, Vince McMahon was removed from WWE’s creative process due to Endeavor wanting Triple H to remain in the role.
In an interview on the Triggered podcast, Dana White commented on his relationship with Vince McMahon.
“It’s been an interesting relationship with Vince McMahon. It’s like, I never saw Vince as competition. But I think in Vince’s, you know, in his heyday, he saw everybody as competition. And, you know, he was one of those guys, who would just f***ing stick it to me, just to do it. You know, for whatever reason.”
Vince McMahon Prevented Dana White’s UFC From Making Significant TV Deal
Due to WWE’s status on NBC-owned USA Network thanks to a 30-year relationship regarding Monday Night Raw, Vince McMahon was able to prevent UFC from appearing on the same network as WWE. White said that the deal was close, but Vince stopped it from happening.
“We were about to do a deal with NBC, and it ends up we get to the one yard line, and Vince has the final say who can go on USA Network and who can’t if you’re a combat sport. And Lorenzo and I flew out to Connecticut, sat down with him, and we’re like, ‘Hey, you know, we’re doing a deal with it.’ You know, we do all the small talk first. And he’s like, ‘Well, the reason we’re here, we’re doing a deal with NBC.’
“And Vince just sits back like Vince sits, you know how he is. And we said, ‘We’re about to do this deal. And we’re going to, you know, have fights on on NBC and everything else. And but you need to sign off on it.’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, I’m not going to do that.’ And we’re like, ‘Why? Well, why what?’ ‘I’m just not interested in it. I don’t like the idea of you guys on USA Network.’ So the whole deal blows up.”
It ended up being a good thing for the UFC, according to White, because they moved to FOX.
“At the end of the day, it all worked out better, because we ended up on FOX. And you know, we had a great relationship with FOX and Eric Shanks, and it was all great. But, yeah, you know, I mean, that’s just one of 10 times, I could tell you where Vince did it.”
“Now, Vince and I, we’re in business together, I guess. But Vince couldn’t be a better partner now. Now Vince is, you know, he’s been an incredible partner, you know, literally keeps me in the loop on everything that’s going on. And, you know, making sure that I’m cool with decisions that might be made that might affect the UFC. It’s just now it’s like a complete flop. And he couldn’t be a better partner.”