The Louisiana-native will attempt to enter the same rarefied air on December 11 when he faces off with Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title at UFC 269. But with that encounter some months away, Poirier sat down for a lengthy one-on-one with entrepreneur and personal development guru, Patrick Bet-David, in which he laid bare his thoughts on UFC President Dana White.
Under White’s leadership, the UFC has grown to unimaginable heights. The 52-year-old has previously stated that when he and the Fertitta brothers, Frank and Lorenzo, purchased the UFC for $2 million in 2001, all they received was the brand name “UFC” and an old Octagon. In 2016, the trio sold its parent company, Zuffa, to William Morris Endeavour for just over $4 billion.
When asked how much of this success is due to Dana’s leadership, and how much is a credit to the fighters, Poirier told Bet-David that it’s mostly thanks to the latter and the inherent entertainment value of MMA.
“I think a little bit of it for sure is Dana, his marketing ability, his thoughts, he made that for what it is,” said Poirier. “But the fight sells itself because it’s so exciting. Like I was talking about variables, there’s so many ways to win and lose in mixed martial arts that it’s hard to get a boring fight.”
Poirier Discusses Relationship With White, Names Possible Successor
While Dustin admits that his relationship with White has been limited to professional affairs, he credits his boss as being a straight shooter.
“He’s honest like that,” said Poirier. “If you go out there, leave it all out there, don’t play it safe, he’ll bring you back. He’s a pretty cut-dry, honest guy when it comes to that type of stuff. I haven’t (spent) a whole lot of time with him. I’ve gone to Vegas a few time and cut some deals where we had to sit down with the lawyers and stuff like that. Other times, it’s just been at events, behind the scenes, quick chats. But he’s honest in person.”
White is almost three years into his present contract as UFC President, which is due to run until 2026. Being such an omnipresent part of the promotion, it’s hard to imagine who can fill Dana’s shoes once he retires. Poirier agrees, but he feels there’s perhaps one man who can.
“That’s a tough spot to fill,” said Poirier. “I’m not sure. I think Daniel Cormier maybe? Maybe somebody who’s been in combat sports. I don’t know if he knows a whole lot about the business side, but I think he would be a great face of a company.”
What do you think? Will Cormier likely replace White as UFC President, or someone else?