Vince McMahon built his empire by using spectacle and marketing to take over the pro wrestling world. It is easy to see why someone would want to emulate him, including Dana White.
While speaking to Wrestling Inc, Randy Couture opened up about Dana White’s operation and who he modeled himself after. The UFC Hall of Famer said that he watched pro wrestling as a child and he “started getting into real wrestling” after that. As his interests in “real wrestling” grew, he eventually entered the MMA world.
Although the MMA and pro wrestling worlds might seem far apart, there are similarities. He then pointed toward the fact that Dana White uses a model based on Vince McMahon’s own tactics.
“Back in the day, when I was a kid, Jimmy Snuka, guys like that, I watched as a kid, but I quickly realized that it wasn’t real, and I started getting into real wrestling, collegiate wrestling and Olympic wrestling. And my interest in the pro wrestling scene kind of went away, That’s just how the progression went for me, and once I was heavily immersed in collegiate wrestling, scholastic wrestling and Olympic wrestling, I really kind of lost the luster for the pro wrestling thing.”
“It just wasn’t my deal. Some guys have gone the other way. Look at Kurt Angle, look at the Steiner brothers, they had all real, genuine amateur wrestling careers and then jumped into pro wrestling as a way to make a living. For a lot of us amateur wrestlers, there were no professional outlets to be a professional athlete or to continue to make a living using the skills that we’d spend most of our lives developing.”
“So pro wrestling was certainly an option for some of those guys. Brock Lesnar obviously came from a NCAA Championship in Minnesota and then went into pro wrestling, and then dabbled in mixed martial arts as well. There is definitely some some crossover. I think if you look at the model that Dana White and the UFC is using, it’s absolutely the Vince McMahon pro wrestling model.”
Dana White and Vince McMahon are still doing their own thing, but they both realize they are in the same market. Their companies battle for fan interest just like they do with any other entertainment property. We will have to see if White continues to amp up UFC’s presentation by holding larger events with outlandish promotion. He is certainly modeling himself after a man who could teach him a thing or two about that.
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