What do men with a lot of power want? More power. Or in Dana White's case, global domination.
PRIDE, WEC, Strikeforce; all former competitors to the UFC that were bought, paid for and either absorbed or likely heading in that direction.
But to White, even those fight companies weren't his rivals, at least not in the larger sense. The upstarts now aren't who his organization is competing against. They are, essentially, small potatoes.
That's because the UFC, while most certainly the big leagues of mixed martial arts, doesn't even come close to the level of the major sports leagues in America.
That's the true competition. That and everything else that's even remotely associated with his business. That means pay-per-view buys, television ratings, sponsorship deals ... the whole nine yards.
Why? Because that's how one goes about improving their product. White talked to USA Today and explained that he thrives on competition and that's how he continues to build his company into the monster it is today.
It's fun. I like the competition. I love it. I (freaking) thrive on it. That's the (crap) that gets me up in the morning. Make no (freaking) mistake about it. I am a competitor and I like to compete. And we do it in lots of things. It's not just other organizations that are out there or other fight companies. It's for pay-per-view numbers. For ratings on television. For sponsorships. For everything. Everything that you do when you own business is you compete. Not to mention the fact that I also feel like we compete against other sports leagues. We look at other sports leagues and say, 'Ok, we can be this big or bigger. How do we do it? How do we get up every day and work and push the envelope and take it to the next level?' It's hilarious to me that when all the media and the fans talk about stuff -- when you guys talk about Strikeforce and Affliction and IFL and all these other guys that were out there. Come on, if that's seriously what you guys think is our (freaking) competition, you guys are (freaking) way out of the loop. Way, way, way, way out of the (freaking) loop. My competition is the NFL. My competition is Major League Baseball. My competition is these other networks. I look much bigger than that."
That's just a small glimpse into the business strategy of those at the helm of what is widely regarded as the fastest growing sport in the world. Go high or go home, folks.
Instead of envisioning a landscape in which the NFL, MLB and the UFC can all survive and thrive right next to each other, White wants to find the ways in which he can crush both.
Just like he did with PRIDE, WEC and Strikeforce.
Obviously, MMA has a long way to go before it can even be mentioned in the same breath as a sports juggernaut like the NFL. As far as television ratings go, no other sport, at least not in the States, comes even close.
But with the labor strife currently facing the league, and the possibility of a lockout canceling next season looming larger and larger every day, there is definitely going to be room to close the gap.
And with a fierce competitor like Dana White manning the ship, don't be surprised if that's exactly what he does.
Look out world ... the UFC is coming.