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Dana White: We’re Starting to Be Looked at as a Major Sport

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Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Mixed Martial Arts is currently the fastest growing sport in the world. For UFC President Dana White, that’s good, but not quite good enough.

UFC 167 will mark the twentieth anniversary of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. For many of our younger readers, MMA was not a major sport up until the premier of The Ultimate Fighter in 2005. TUF helped broaden the UFC audience by using one of the best media platforms available: cable TV.

Even with all of the recent success, White still doesn’t consider the sport to be mainstream. However, he does believe that it has undoubtedly become a “major sport.”

“I think we’re starting to get there now,” he said in a recent media conference call. “I don’t think we’re mainstream yet. I really don’t. I know people disagree with me when I say that. But I think we’re starting to be looked at as one of the major sports now.”

Apparently, he has a very specific meaning of what mainstream means.

“To me, mainstream is when you walk down a street in any city anywhere and everybody knows what you are, and we’re not [there yet.]”

Whether you agree or disagree with him, the ambitious businessman does have a point: there are still many people around the world who don’t know a thing about the UFC or MMA in general. It seems White would like to change that very soon.

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Steve Sohanaki
Steve became interested in combat sports when he joined his high school’s wrestling team as freshman. His experience as a wrestler sparked his interest in mixed martial arts when he recognized the compatibility between the two sports. From there, he continued to wrestle all throughout college until he earned his bachelor’s degree in history. Steve’s interests in combat sports center mostly around grappling, but he’s also interested in the history of the sport and where it’s headed in the future.