What happens if UFC president Dana White has to miss a UFC event? Does the world come to a halt? Does the event crash and burn?
No. No, it does not.
White had to miss the first event during his tenure as the UFC’s head honcho earlier this year when his Meniere’s disease forced him to the sidelines for UFC on Fuel TV 3 in May.
Meniere’s disease is an inner ear disorder, noted for severe bouts of vertigo.
White’s second missed event came this past weekend when the promotion made it’s Chinese debut with UFC on Fuel TV 6: Franklin vs. Le in Macao. Only this time, it was by choice, not because his disease had struck him down again.
As the UFC continues its global expansion, which includes an ever increasingly overlapping schedule, White simply couldn’t get away from the meetings and other orders of business demanding his attention in Las Vegas, according to a report from UFC Tonight’s Ariel Helwani.
The situation actually provided White and the UFC the opportunity to see how the promotion would function if he simply can’t attend an event, whether it be due to his Meniere’s disease or matters of business that require his attendance.
The UFC basically set up a command center for White, akin to a television production truck.
Contrary to popular belief, White is not just a talking head for the UFC. He is extremely hands-on in many areas, but particularly so in production. Having a command center in Las Vegas that gives him a direct line to the crews on-site – in this case in China – worked seamlessly.
White was able to give all the input that he usually does for every UFC event just as if he were on location at the event site. He was simply able to do what he needed to do from Las Vegas and still handle other orders of business that would have been impossible had he made the trip to China in person.
What this means for White’s presence at future UFC events remains to be seen. It certainly gives White and the UFC more options as the company continues to expand across the globe and load up its schedule of events, including several international versions of The Ultimate Fighter.
Does the UFC take a hit if Dana White, the promotion’s fiery frontman, is less and less available to be on site?