Dana White’s Approach with UFC’s Female Fighting Divisions | Awakening Fighters

Dana White’s Approach with UFC’s Female Fighting Divisions

by Rew MitchellPosted on
Article Thumb 2024 Ufc Belt | Awakening Fighters


54-year-old Connecticut born Dana White is a man for whom the casino has always been a major draw and perhaps it was the years of mastering his blackjack strategy and perfecting his poker face that endowed upon him the qualities to not only create the UFC but establish it as a global sporting powerhouse.

One of the most impressive things about the UFC is just how egalitarian it is with the equality between male and female fighters providing a shining example to other sports. Whilst efforts have obviously been made to spread the reach of the women’s game in major sports like soccer and basketball, none have achieved the same levels of inclusion and success as UFC.

In this article we take a look at just how Dana White contributed to creating perhaps the world’s most equal sport in terms of the genders.


There is a lot said about how to become successful and, quite often, a lot of what is said is wrong. We are often told that to win at life we need to be headstrong, believe in ourselves and not listen to our doubters.

Whilst that is true to an extent, if Dana White had embodied those characteristics religiously female UFC wouldn’t be anywhere near as popular as it is today. That’s because White once confidently predicted that there would never be a female fight held in the octagon.

The disparity in quality between the top two or three fighters and the rest of the pack was cited by White as his reasoning for this assertion and, to be honest, at the time it was a fairly sage judgment. Who would want to watch the best female fighters beat vastly inferior competitors in record time?

Fortunately though Dana White had the humility not to get bogged down or entrenched in that way of thinking when the female fighting landscape began to change. Whereas many others would stuck to their guns and reverted to stereotypes or misogyny, White recognised that things had changed and saw an opportunity.

In 2013 Ronda Rousey took of Liz Carmouche in the main event of UFC 157 and from that point, White never hesitated to headline female fighters.

Rousey vs Carmouche – the first women’s UFC fight


Let’s not pretend for a moment that the debate about female sports isn’t firmly rooted in misogyny and negative stereotypes. Tempting as it may be to try and counter this with logical and rational counter arguments, getting drawn into debates about the quality of action on display or the crowds in attendance is ultimately facile.

White recognised this and as a consequence didn’t get himself involved in the never-ending debate about the differences between male and female sports. Instead he attacked the promotion of female fighting with the same enthusiasm as he has approached every business venture in his life.

Knowing that his enthusiasm and salesmanship skills are his most effective tools, White set about spreading the gospel of female UFC and was unsurprisingly successful. In a Financial Times article by Joel Stein from 2022, Stein explains how White’s enthusiasm for a task convinced him to take a kick to the leg from a professional fighter.

So it’s no wonder then that in the altogether more important matter of marketing female fighting, White used his enthusiasm to great effect.

Dana White exudes enthusiasm in everything he does

Story Telling

The biggest sign that misogyny is the greatest motivator in someone’s dislike of female sports is when they claim that they cannot engage in a sport of such a ‘low-quality’. That’s because the perceived quality of a sport is almost never the reason why we watch sporting events.

If quality were the main reason for watching a sports event, no-one would support their local team – unless they lived 5 miles from Kansas City, Manchester City and the Celtics stadium – or attend games between lower ranked teams at the World Cup.

No, quality has nothing to do with it, the reason we love sports and engage in it is because of the drama and the stories that are at the heart of them. Again this is something that Dana White has always been cognizant of and fortunately for him and UFC, storytelling is one of his greatest qualities.

It’s a quality that he leaned on when promoting UFC and one he leaned on again when promoting females within the sport. Ultimately, perhaps more than any other quality, it is White’s ability to tell a story and create sporting drama that has left the UFC as a $4 billion sporting titan.

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