UFC president Dana White revisits what UFC looked like when Fertitta brothers bought it in 2001

Dana White recently looked back at what the UFC looked like more than a decade ago before it was recognized as the world’s premier MMA promotion.

During a recent conversation with Grant Cardone on YouTube, the UFC president gave an insight into the organization’s humble beginnings. He also reflected on its exponential growth since purchasing it for $2 million in 2001.

Dana White also delved into the circumstances surrounding the company’s acquisition, which only meant acquiring rights to a not-so-popular ‘UFC’ trademark, along with a wooden octagon and a few contracts.

Here’s what the UFC supremo said:

“I never told this story before but at the time, this guy Bob Meyers had stripped this thing down to all we bought were those three letters [UFC], which the trademark wasn’t even that strong at the time, old wooden octagon and 10 or 12 contracts. That’s all we owned.”

White added that they also had to negotiate digital rights with Lionsgate, who had owned rights to the UFC library, video games, and DVDs at the time. The UFC president revealed that the entertainment company gave up the rights for $2 million:

“All the rights, the DVD rights – which ended up being massive – the video game rights and all the old library was owned by Lionsgate. We had to go back and negotiate those rights from Lionsgate… They sold it back to us for $2 million.”

Catch Dana White’s full interaction with Grant Cardone below:

Dana White plans to open UFC institutes in several countries

The UFC’s official Performance Institutes are currently present in only two countries – the United States and China. However, Dana White is planning to expand the facility to other locations soon, including in New Mexico, the UAE, and Africa.

During the same interview, White stated that Mexico City and Abu Dhabi will soon have their own UFC Performance Institutes. the UFC chief added that he is also planning to open one in Africa in 2023 or the year after:

“We’re opening one right now in Mexico City, we’re opening one in Abu Dhabi, and then next year or the year after, I want to open one in Africa.”

The UFC Performance Institute offers access to state-of-the-art training facilities to MMA fighters and is open to all UFC athletes at no cost. The promotion’s first Performance Center was launched in Las Vegas in 2017.

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