Ari Emmanuel Explains How Dana White Saved UFC And Endeavor During Covid

Ari Emmanuel, the head honcho at Endeavor, which owns the UFC, has explained in a new interview how Dana White saved both companies during Covid.

When everybody else was shutting up shut during the pandemic and battening down the hatches, White was adamant that the show must go on, and while he was reluctant to do so at the time, in hindsight Emmanuel says that it turned out to be a masterstroke on the part of the UFC boss.

“I thought we had to shut everything down and Dana White at the UFC said to me and said, ‘Uh-uh, we’re not shutting down,’” Emmanuel recalled on the Jay Shetty podcast. “I got scared and he slapped me across the face. ‘We’re going.’ And then he said ‘Get me an island.’ And I was like, my brother’s a doctor. He’s telling me the world’s closing. He was like ‘Uh-uh.’ And he was just driving that train,

“So we got him an island and he did everything else. And it kind of just reminded me, yeah, it’s nerve wracking, but don’t be scared. And he was amazing. And I was on the other side of that fence. And that’s why he’s a great partner, he’s an incredible partner.

“But I for the first time got very scared. And he just said ‘No, we just have to go. And we’re going to take all the heat for it.’ And there was a lot of heat against him. But, we did it.”

““If we didn’t have that, the whole company would have been tanked,” Emmanuel added. “Because we needed the ESPN deal to go. We needed to continue to put on fights.

“His courage, dragging me along, it’s incredible.”

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.