Full Contact Fighter’s ‘The Daily Takedown: Dana White as Steve Jobs? Yahoo Columnist Must Read Full Contact Fighter
By Joshua Molina
Dana White as Steve Jobs?
Yahoo! sportswriter Kevin Iole made the hilarious comparison in a recent column titled “Sport in transition: UFC’s roster of bright stars dimmed by injuries, retirement.”
Here’s what Iole wrote: “White has done in these last 11 years to lead that surge is as remarkable in its own way as what the late Steve Jobs did in masterminding Apple’s rebound from near-extinction after his return to the then-troubled computer manufacturer in 1997.”
Really? That’s taking the MMA media’s butt-kissing of White to a whole new level.
Apple products have revolutionized the world. White can’t even get MMA legalized in the biggest city in the country, New York.
Does Iole feel the same way about Vince McMahon Jr., who turned ‘wrassling’ into pro wrestling a global brand and empire, far more successful and tenured than the UFC. Does he feel that way about Mark Zuckerberg, the famous founder of Facebook? What about Ty Warner, who created Beanie Babies and turned them into a multibillion-dollar franchise and lucrative hotel and real estate franchise?
There’s a big difference between being successful and being Steve Jobs. There’s a big difference between being Dana White and Steve Jobs.
White obviously is a successful man with proven business skills. He and UFC majority owners, Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, were the saviors of the UFC. But White is a hothead who yells at his fighters, the media, fans and anyone else who disagrees with him. Jobs was charismatic, solutions-oriented, computer scientist.
White is great at what he does, but the MMA media embarrasses itself by its inability to challenge White on his many business foibles that have not been great for the sport (such as attempting to humiliate Jon Jones, one of his biggest cash cows).
White’s legacy is unfinished. If he can grow the UFC’s popularity amongst the mainstream, or even keep it as is in 2013, that would do a lot to cement his legacy as an MMA revolutionary. Legacies aren’t just measured on how well you do during the good times; they are measured by how well business people survive during the bad times.
Iole’s column was funny for a another reason.
In the past year, a growing number of people have been reading an exciting, relaunched Full Contact Fighter, “The Original, Undefeated MMA News Source, Established in 1997.”
Iole may be one of them.
His gushing story about White resembled a recent Full Contact Fighter story (without the gushing), titled “Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown:” After Brock, MMA Needs New Mainstream Stars – Right Now,” published Sept. 3, four days before Iole’s.
Now Iole is a respected, veteran sports writer who covers MMA and boxing. No one is accusing him of stealing the story idea, but the stories are pretty similar.
Both stories explain that in order for the UFC to continue its growth, it will need to appeal to more than just the hardcore MMA audience.
Big, crossover stars are essential to making the sport bigger than life. As stars age and retire, UFC needs a new generation of big stars to appeal to the public, otherwise it will return to just a moderately successful business venture (not like Apple).
Iole ends the column defending the UFC with this statement:
“That has led some to speculate that the MMA boom is on the decline. That doesn’t jibe, though, with the rock-star status that UFC fighters receive when they’re in public.”
That’s also ridiculous. What UFC fighters is he talking about? There isn’t a UFC fighter on the planet who gets a “rock-star status” in public. Brock Lesnar gets a huge reaction in public, but that’s because of his WWE career, and he’s no longer in the UFC.
The only UFC personality who would get even close to rock-star status is Dana White himself, because he has made himself the sport’s biggest star, another reason why he should not be compared to Steve Jobs.