UFC’s Dana White Says WWE Partnership Will Grow Both Fan Bases

UFC President Dana White said on Tuesday that combining marketing forces with World Wrestling Entertainment will create an even larger fan base for both organizations. 

The sides will work together after Endeavor announced a $21.4 billion deal on Monday to bring WWE under its umbrella with UFC.

“You have the power of the fan base of the WWE, you have the power of the fan base of the UFC,” White told The Associated Press in his first public comments beyond a written statement. “And you have the power of the viral. I don’t even know what the hell this thing is yet. We can reach all these people in so many different ways. It’s fascinating.”

White also said the Power Slap League has agreed to a two-year media rights deal with Rumble, which will televise the next two seasons of “Power Slap: Road to the Title,” a reality series in which slap-fighting competitors also compete. He said the deal includes eight events, with the championship of next season’s series expected to take place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Power Slap League is not under Endeavor because it’s a separate venture that White and former UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta are overseeing.

Endeavor unites two strong fan bases, though White said there isn’t much overlap between them. The UFC has more than 700 million fans worldwide and WWE has more than 1.2 billion.

In many ways, White said, the two will continue to operate as separate companies with the corporate leadership remaining in place under Endeavor CEO Ariel Emanuel. White remains in his current role with the UFC, and Vince McMahon will continue in his role as the WWE executive chairman.

“I can go to Ari, and Ari will make whatever I need happen,” White said. “The WWE is going to be the same way. The people that have been successful there can now use Ari as a resource to help take them to another level, and it’s just it’s the perfect relationship. He’s very good at is taking these people with very strong personalities. You got me, you got Vince and a lot of other guys that he’s dealt with in these different companies.”

White said it is still to be decided exactly how the new partnership will work, but he wasn’t concerned his sport would be confused for the scripted WWE even as they cross promote.

He was more than interested in promoting the Power Slap League, which has its next event tentatively scheduled for May 24 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

White touted the viewership numbers, saying Rumble is up to more than 81 million subscribers, and the slap league is outdrawing nearly every NFL and NBA team and each Major League Baseball and NHL club on YouTube.

One knockout video was viewed roughly 110 million times, and another received about 50 million views. The slap league YouTube video shorts totaled 250 million, which White said was more than the NFL, NBA, MLB and WWE combined.

He said his challenge was trying to figure out how to financially capitalize on the viewership. White, Fertitta and Power Slap President Frank Lamicella will fly to Miami on Wednesday to meet with potential sponsors. The first meeting is scheduled with Monster Energy sport drink.

UFC 287 also is taking place Saturday in Miami, but White said most of his time will be spent working on the slap league.

White said unlike with the UFC he doesn’t see that sport’s events going to pay-per-view.

“I think this thing is made for the internet,” he said. “That’s how I got into it.”

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