Monday, January 22, 2007

One-on-one with UFC President Dana White

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White is nothing if not aggressive. Under his stewardship since 2001, the promotion has grown from an underground fight league with very limited mainstream acceptance to an outfit that is now synonymous with mixed martial arts in the United States.

UFC closed 2006 with a high-profile pay-per-view bout, UFC 66. In March, the company extended a strategic partnership with Spike TV and expanded its lineup of television programming. And the sport continued to gain fans, particularly in the 18-34 male demographic coveted by advertisers.

According to White, also a co-owner of UFC's parent company, Zuffa LLC, the success in 2006 was just the tip of the iceberg. He used "aggressive" several times to describe his organization's growth strategy during a Jan. 18 phone interview. What follows are his answers to a range of questions on the future of the UFC, its competitors, upcoming plans, his favorite fighters and more.

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