Dana White is no longer working alongside close friend Lorenzo Fertitta in the UFC, but there was no hesitation when it came time to sign the contract to stay and work for the promotion’s new ownership group.
During an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Thursday night, White confirmed a previously rumored five-year contract to remain in his current role as UFC president after the company was sold to William Morris Endeavor and International Management Group (WME-IMG) for $4 billion. It is unclear if White retains any ownership, but it has been reported that he will receive receive nine percent of the promotion’s net profits each year as part of his contract.
“I have a five-year deal. It’s one of those things, I’m 47 and I love this sport,” White said. “I love what I do for a living and I would have signed a 55-year deal with these guys, so I’m in.”
Although he is still UFC president, White did sell his nine percent stake in the company for a reported $360 million.
“I got a couple bucks,” White quipped. However, White said the selling process did take some time.
“When you do a deal like this, it has to go through a bunch of regulation,” he said. “Once all the regulation is done and the thing finally closes you just get a check. That’s how it works.”
While White will stick around, Fertitta has stepped down from his role as CEO in daily operations. Both Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, who each owned 40.5 percent of the company, will maintain a “passive minority interest.” While White was ecstatic at turning such a huge profit on a venture that initially cost $2 million, he admitted that it took some time to come to grips with the magnitude of the deal and the changes that will accompany it.
“I can tell you this, and this is the honest-to-God truth: When this deal closed, it bugged me out a little bit,” he said. “When you make that kind of money….my partners, I’ve been with them for 20 years. So that’s all gonna change, I have new partners now.
“I just kind of Howard Hughes’d myself up into a hotel room for a couple days. Didn’t sleep or eat; it kind of freaked me out a little bit.”