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Dana White, Ari Emmanuel land on ‘Variety 500’ list among the most important people in global media

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MMA: UFC 213-Romero vs Whittaker Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White is undoubtedly one of the most influential men the sports combat world, but now the brash head honcho is going up another level.

White — alongside his new partner and UFC owner, Ari Emmanuel — landed on the Variety 500 list, which celebrate and recognizes the 500 most influential business men and women in the entertainment industry worldwide.

Welcome to the second annual edition of Variety500, an index of the 500 most influential business leaders shaping the global $2 trillion entertainment industry. The Variety500 reflects the accomplishments of its members over the previous 12 months. They were selected by the Variety editorial board, which conducted extensive research for its selections.

Of course, both men took drastically different routes to this list, as White helped mold UFC — the biggest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion in the world — into the powerhouse it is today.

Though the spark was lit by this man.

As for Emmanuel, before becoming the new owner of UFC following a massive $4 billion transaction, he was busy heading up the biggest talent agency in the world, William Morris Endeavor, who represents some of the biggest actors, athletes and musicians in the world.

Together, White and Emmanuel look to catapult UFC into its next phase, beginning with a multi-billion dollar deal with ESPN, which is set to begin early in 2019.