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EXCLUSIVE: UFC Founder Discloses ‘Politics’ Behind Selling the Promotion to Dana White and Fertitta Brothers

Debmallya Chakraborty

EXCLUSIVE: UFC Founder Discloses ‘Politics’ Behind Selling the Promotion to Dana White and Fertitta Brothers

We all know that Dana White and the Fertitta brothers bought the UFC for $2 million. However, a question that immediately comes to mind is the fact why someone who visioned and created the promotion out of scratch, want to sell such a huge product? Well, after The SportsRush sat down with the Creator Of UFC, Art Davie, the smoke behind the burning question was cleared. 

Speaking about Davie’s time with the organization, the host asked the 76-year-old about his decision to sell the UFC. In what was a shocking revelation, Davie disclosed that he perceived the idea of selling the promotion way back in 1995. According to him, the political and media interference in the UFC became significant. It grew to such an extent that it became a hindrance to the smooth running of the promotion. 

Citing politics as a main variable for the sale, Davie stated, “I was very clear that by 1995 after the first couple of UFCs, i could see that the opposition was not gonna go away. When I say opposition i mean the politicians and the media. I knew that was gonna get a lot worse.”

Davie further pointed out that although he had been able to withstand the storm for so long, keeping in mind his age, he wanted to slow down. The founder of UFC, who was in his late 40s by 1995, did not want to “get eaten by the press and the politicians” and thus, made a “smart” move of selling the UFC. However, before selling the UFC, a lot of crazy things happened, which included allowing athletes to get away with PEDs. 

Early UFC events did not test the athletes for drugs: UFC Creator Art Davie

In the same interview. Davie was asked about his fascination with a no-holds barred style fight. Elaborating on the same, Davie stated that the early UFC events did not test the athletes for drugs and PEDs. Following the trend in professional boxing, the athletes had to only testify for AIDS. He said, “The only thing that I tested for in the beginning was AIDS… I never tested for performance-enhancing drugs.” 

However, Davie did point out his knowledge about athletes in MMA and bodybuilding, adhering to PEDs and human growth hormones. Unfortunately, as the UFC already faced a lot of backlash, Davie did not want to complicate it further by involving drug testing into the mix. 

Post Edited By:Debmallya Chakraborty

About the author

Debmallya Chakraborty

Debmallya Chakraborty


Debmallya Chakraborty, the UFC Lead editor and a senior journalist at The SportsRush, is a seasoned connoisseur of the UFC landscape since 2015, and has seamlessly transitioned from an enthusiastic observer to a distinguished sports journalist with a dedicated focus on mixed martial arts. Over the past two years, he has meticulously curated and refined more than 4000 articles, delivering compelling news and insightful analyses to the discerning audience of UFC aficionados. His commitment to providing a nuanced perspective and staying abreast of the latest developments has firmly established Debmallya as a respected authority in the dynamic realm of UFC journalism. Beyond the fast-paced world of the octagon, his interests extend to the refined sport of cricket, where he actively engages with the game, gracing the cricket grounds with a passionate pursuit of sporting excellence. In the intersection of these two sporting worlds, Debmallya endeavors to bridge the gap between raw athleticism and strategic finesse, offering a unique blend of expertise that caters to the diverse spectrum of sports enthusiasts.

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