It’s not easy being Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White these days. Not only does White have to deal with fighters of all shapes and sizes, but he’s had to juggle the widespread COVID-19 attack over the past few weeks that has left the promotion out to dry.
Still, the UFC show must go on eventually and a relentless leader like White will always be needed to keep the premier mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion afloat. That’s because there is $7 billion on the line and UFC is trying to close the gap with other majors sports organizations like NFL, NCAA, MLB, and NBA. UFC isn’t quite there yet, but White’s efforts over the years have certainly got the promotion closer.
Whether you disagree with White’s recent pursuit of UFC 249 or not, it’s easy to see that the UFC president would leave some pretty big shoes to fill if he ever stepped away from the game. White simply does too much and dedicates all of his time to think anyone else can do his job better.
But that does raise the question, who will replace White as president of UFC when the time comes?
Well, how about former UFC light heavyweight and heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier? After all, “DC” might be the only other person who wanted to see UFC 249 take place more than White.
“I think anybody in the world in their right might would [take the job],” Cormier told MMA Fighting. “To be at the head of an organization that does so many great things in terms of entertainment, and not only that, but community help. I think what people don’t see is the type of influence that the UFC has in the community. The work that they do with youth programs and programs around the world.
“I think if you ever have an opportunity or anyone has an opportunity to do a job like that, they would be insane not to hope to have that opportunity. But Dana’s going to be here for a long time. Dana’s the man.”
While fight fans are more accustomed to seeing Cormier destroy every Octagon opponent not named Jon Jones or Stipe Miocic, the part-time UFC color commentator would be a great candidate to take over for White. He’s professional, well-spoken, understands the mentality and needs of a fighter, and most certainly has the ability to get tough when it matters most. Those are all things needed to be a successful MMA promoter, especially for a massive outfit like UFC.
“Absolutely, I would love any job with the UFC,” Cormier said. “I love this organization. I think since I came over from Strikeforce, I’ve made some good relationships with the people in the company. I’ve started to learn. I’ve just really learned about this company and the one thing that really stands out the most for me is how much time, energy and effort the UFC puts into helping the youths.
“That stands out to me because that’s something I do. I know how important it is for Dana and the UFC to support local programs and support athletic clubs, support academic clubs. There’s just so many things that they do to try and help people around the world, it really makes me appreciate who I work for.”
For now, Cormier will try to finish his professional MMA career on top as he prepares for a likely trilogy fight with UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, who finished “DC” via fourth-round TKO in their UFC 241 rematch last year. After the trilogy, and his rumored retirement, Cormier can try to work his way up the promotional ladder and groom himself to become the next UFC president.