When it comes down to combat sports, it is essentially the fight promoters themselves that make the sport as exhilarating as it is. Match making and hosting incredible events are all part and parcel of a promoters life and without them, we would have no sport.
Two of the biggest names in regards to promoters in combat sports are Eddie Hearn and Dana White, and they promote completely different styles of fighting. Dana promotes MMA and Eddie does boxing and both also reside on opposite sides of the pond.
So, Who Is The Best Promoter?
Today we will be taking a trip down memory lane in regards to these two exceptional promoter, with some moments that will forever cement their spot for future generations of fighters as the hosts of some of the most explosive stages the world has ever seen.
Who is Dana White?
Dana Frederick White Jr. (born July 28, 1969) is an American businessman who serves as president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a global Mixed Martial Arts organization that has played host to the top tier of competition throughout the brutal yet exhilarating world of MMA. In August 2019, White’s net worth was estimated at $500 million.
In his youth, Dana showed early signs that the combat sports industry was his primary concern. At 17 years of age, Dana showed a great interest in Boxing. It was clear to him that his future resided in a life of organised violence. Hard work and dedication has led to him being one of the leading promoters in the hurt industry today.
He has brought the brand of Ultimate Fighting Championship to all four corners of the world, and plans to sell out each and everyone of these stadiums and is yet to be wrong in his promise. productivity and the quality of the cards he has arranged over his twenty one year affiliation with the company since joining forces with the organisation back in 2001 has brought the entertainment factor to the violence that is craved by fans like us.
White contacted his childhood friend Lorenzo Fertitta, a co-founder of Station Casinos, suggesting he acquire the company. That led Lorenzo and his older brother Frank to pick up the UFC for $2 million back in 2001, installing Dana White as the company’s president. A business idea that will be one of the most lucrative and most important purchases of the brothers lives. The UFC has grown tremendously throughout the years since the purchase back In 2001, even the pandemic that has destroyed many organisations and businesses alike couldn’t stop the industry. Today, the UFC is rumoured to be worth just short of $10 billion dollars.
As previously stated, the UFC has travelled the globe and brought its vast array of fighters to some of the biggest stages the world has to offer. to be exact, twenty four countries have played host to a UFC event. United States, Brazil, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, China, Germany, Sweden, Mexico, Ireland, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Argentina, Chile, Croatia, the Czech Republic, the Philippines, South Korea, and Uruguay. My personal favourites have to be Dana’s visits to our shores for UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Aspinall back in March, and UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs Aspinall most recently in July. Dana was so overwhelmed by the UK supporters in march, that he planned his second visit in July almost instantaneously.
If we were to go through the list of ppv sales and gate revenue for these iconic moments, we could quite literally spend the next forty Eight hours reading this blog. But to date, the highest gate record was set At the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada. The event drew an attendance of 20,034 fans, generating a live gate revenue of $17.2 million. The PPV sales record for a UFC event was also broken for UFC 229: Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor with 2,400,000 PPV Buys accumulating to $180 million. And finally, the biggest PPV event in UFC history saw Khabib Nurmagomedov defend his UFC Lightweight Championship against McGregor.
Although not a majority shareholder, when thinking of the biggest MMA organisation to date, without him there is no doubt in my mind that any of these astronomical fetes would have transpired. The fight game has a huge debt of gratitude towards his prolific business acumen, because it has surely given us so many memories that we will pass down to our children and children’s children.
Is Eddie Hearn Better Than Dana White?
Our personal opinion, competition is the wrong way to see the fight game. Each and every promoter big or small is just a piece of the puzzle needed to complete the masterpiece of combat sports. Which now leads us to the Co-host of our blog today in Eddie Hearn.
Who is Eddie Hearn?
Edward John Hearn (born 8 June 1979) is a British sports promoter who is Chairman of Matchroom Sport and Professional Darts Corporation. Hearn is the son of promoter Barry Hearn OBE, the founder of Matchroom Sport. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Eddie Hearn has a staggering net worth of $50 million from his time in a promotional career in the boxing world.
Hearn was a student at the independent Brentwood School, Essex. He failed to get into sixth form at Brentwood School as he performed poorly on his GCSEs. Hearn played cricket and football to a high standard.
Matchroom Sport was founded by Eddie’s father, Barry Hearn. After leaving education, Eddie Hearn started a career in the West End at a sports management company representing golfers, eventually moving on to promote online poker with Matchroom with the events being broadcast worldwide. In the UK, they were broadcast by Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky Sports. He met Audley Harrison at a poker game and agreed to help him rebuild his career, subsequently getting Harrison a fight with heavyweight champion David Haye for his WBA title, signalling the growth of Matchroom Boxing.
Since his affiliation with his father’s company, Eddie has brought to the boxing world some of the most memorable bouts, cards and fighters to our screens and many arena’s around the world.
Boxing as many will know is one of the oldest sports the world has ever seen and given many generations of fight fans some of the most high profile fighters and bouts for many years. A gifted promoter has to go all out to secure some of the biggest names to affiliate with their brand to succeed. Eddie has done just that, love him or hate him he has some of the finest boxers under his banner and has also given, just like his predecessors, some of the most exciting rivalries within the 21st century.
The list of affiliated fighters is quite the impressive one. These include the likes of unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, Luke Campbell, undisputed women’s lightweight champion Katie Taylor, Vasyl Lomachenko, Dillian Whyte, Billy Joe Saunders, Oleksandr Usyk. He also serves as co-promoter for WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney and Gennady Golovkin.
Much like this blog’s Co-host, Eddie has set his sights on his counterpart’s homeland and set records in doing so. On 8 May 2021, Hearn promoted Canelo Álvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders in front of 73,126 fans at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which broke the all-time attendance record for an indoor boxing event in the United States.
The numbers from this astronomical three belt unification collision set an all time record for Herne, a live gate of $9,002,920 from a record 66,065 tickets sold. The PPV sales for this collision saw number hit 800,000 buys and grossed roughly $64 million in domestic pay-per-view revenue.
Like we’ve previously stated, the world is full of pieces of a puzzle (Promoters). Each and everyone of them makes the brutal yet exhilarating combat sports world tick. But without these two exceptional pieces, the sports industry would in no way shape or form be in the position we find ourselves in today.
We each have our own personal thoughts when it comes to fight promoters, the years have given us some of the iconic names in MMA and boxing. Don King, Antonio Inoki, Bob Arum, Scott Coker, Tex Rickard, Antonio Inoki, Frank Warren. The list goes on and on. But in the 21 century, Dana White and Eddie Hearn have gone tooth and nail to put their names on top of the mountain when it comes to what we bear witness today. Along with the blood, sweat and tears by the warriors under their banner, they will go down in the history books and be remembered for centuries to come. And they are not done yet, many more events from the UFC and Matchroom Boxing are set, it’s an amazing tike to be a fan.
What you believe to be the biggest event to date from either promotion? we’d love to hear your take on who you believe is the biggest name of these two outstanding individuals, and of course, your own personal favourite collisions that these two iconic men have brought to your screen, or that you have had the privilege to witness live.
if Dana White and Eddie Hearn ever faced eachother in a boxing ring, who do you think would win? Comment on our Facebook page here.