Who will be the UFC president's successor?
Dana White has been the president of the UFC since 2001, in what has been a 22-year-long reign full of ups and downs, a reality TV show, and a wild guy from Ireland who has made the UFC an unimaginable amount of money.
Since White became the president, the UFC has gone from “Human Cockfighting” to an industry that has seen massive success while making White a very rich man. White has been the UFC president for so long that he had hair when he started his job with the UFC.
22 years is a very long time to be in charge of a business as large as the UFC. White, 53, will not do this forever, and there will come a time when he will call it a career and retire. Someone will have to replace him though, but who?
It is hard to imagine the UFC without White, and he has been so integral to the sport as a whole and is one of the best fight promoters of all time. You have to wonder, though, when White retires, who has the skills, and persona to fill his shoes?
In an interview with Barstool, White said he already has a replacement.
“There’s a formula to what we do and why we’ve been successful. And there is a guy, there’s one guy," he said.
Is Dana White already setting someone up to take over for him when he retires?
We are going to speculate a little bit on a few names who maybe could take over for White. Three obvious names come up: Sean Shelby, Mick Maynard, and Hunter Campbell. Ari Emmanuel could also be a wildcard name as the CEO of Endeavour, but that seems unlikely.
We mainly hear Maynard and Shelby’s names brought up as the UFC’s matchmakers. Maynard has been a fight manager in the past, giving him a similar background to White, who represented fighters such as Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell.
Campbell is the name that seems most likely, however. Campbell is the UFC’s chief legal officer and seems to have a close personal relationship with many fighters. The reasoning behind this is that Campbell’s name is brought up very often as the guy who negotiates deals. White stated that Campbell frequently went out to dinner with UFC heavyweight champion-turned-renegade Francis Ngannou during their negotiation period.
Ariel Helwani sent out a Twitter thread soon after the Derrick Lewis vs. Ciryl Gane interim heavyweight championship was announced in which he called Campbell “the third most important person in the company” and compared him to a professional sports team general manager. He also said that Campbell will be in charge of almost every fight deal and is constantly threatening to strip UFC championship titles. Does that sound a little bit like someone who could take over as UFC president?
Some fans will probably want a former UFC fighter to take over White’s role as UFC president. The two most common names you would probably find are Daniel Cormier and Chael Sonnen, though White did say that Cormier is not the right guy for the job.