Dana White leaves UFC Presidency following WWE merger

He served in his position for over 20 years

By Web Desk
September 14, 2023
Dana White has been removed as the UFC President — AFP

As the Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) merger with the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) became official, Dana White's days as the president of the former are over.

The WWE and Endeavor, the company that operates the UFC, will now be officially known as TKO, a new $21.4 billion sports entertainment company.

However, White isn't stepping away from the scene entirely; he has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of UFC.

According to an announcement from TKO, Lawrence Epstein will retain his role as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of UFC. Meanwhile, Nick Khan will continue to serve as WWE's President.

The TKO Board of Directors, headed by Executive Chairman Vince McMahon, consists of 11 members, with Ari Emanuel, the boss of Endeavor, among them.

Speaking about this transformative shift, Dana White expressed his excitement for the future during a UFC "Contender Series" press conference. He emphasized that while the merger has taken UFC to new heights, his authority and decision-making power remain intact.

"I’m excited about the future and what we’re going to do," White said. "And I always am, regardless, but after this merger, we’re just so much more powerful than we were yesterday. Everything that goes on here I determine. Nothing has changed. We’re going to continue to kick ass like we do every single year."

White affirmed his commitment to maintaining UFC's track record of excellence, stating that the merger has provided the organization with greater resources and potential. He outlined plans for expanding Performance Institutes globally, including in Mexico, and hinted at UFC's potential entry into the world of boxing.

Operationally, there won't be significant changes in the UFC's day-to-day activities. However, one notable implication of this merger is the potential for UFC fighters in the later stages of their careers to follow in the footsteps of Ronda Rousey, transitioning to WWE.

In this new phase under the TKO Group Holdings banner, Dana White's transition to CEO reflects a strategic realignment of leadership, aiming to leverage the combined strengths of UFC and WWE to forge an even more influential presence in the world of combat sports and entertainment.