Is Dana White using Floyd Mayweather to boost UFC's brand?Hot
Several weeks ago, Dana White and Floyd Mayweather Jr. serendipitously sat together at an LA Clippers game in the Staples Center, and somehow came to an informal working business arrangement.
Although no established plans have materialized for the upcoming calendar year, many are intrigued at the prospect of what the future potentially holds for the unlikely union of Money Mayweather and the current UFC president.
"I think Floyd and I both feel that we add an incredible amount of value to each other in what we both do, so who knows," Dana White recently stated to BT Sport. "We have some plans right now, which will start playing out this summer."
"I can see me being involved in a boxing fight with him, and I can see me being involved in a crossover fight with him. Floyd and I have had this interesting relationship for like 25 years. And Haymon and I have a really good relationship. I like Al Haymon a lot, and we'll get something done...we'll figure it out."
Most boxing insiders have guessed that Floyd's primary interest would be to stage a crossover event featuring the self-proclaimed TBE against a UFC superstar, in what would surely be a one-sided exhibition in accordance with the ABC rules of boxing. Of course, anytime a fighter enters the squared circle, there's always a certain degree of risk...nothing is guaranteed. But with Floyd, it's always a well calculated risk, or it just doesn't happen.
The reason why most have come to the conclusion that a boxing event between Mayweather and an unnamed, overmatched UFC athlete would be the most logical outcome, is that no one can rationally predict or foresee any other reason for the unlikely business merger.
What value does Dana White really bring to Mayweather Promotions or PBC?
The UFC currently uses the same antiquated PPV model with which Haymon has ostensibly struggled as of late. Fans and promoters seem to be much happier with the "app" method in seeing their favorite premium match-ups because of its greater affordability. The great majority of the event proceeds justly go to the fighters, rather than taking 50% off the top for the networks and the greedy cable and satellite distributors.
The app method ultimately drives the price of the event down without any loss of production value of the viewer experience. The "app subscription" seems to be the future of delivering major boxing events to the interested viewer.
And traditionally, UFC's regular clientele doesn't appreciate the time-tested product of boxing. Most of them prefer White's unique brand of controlled violence to the more "gentlemanly" art of pugilism.
So would UFC's die-hard fanbase buy into another staged event featuring Floyd Mayweather Jr. and any popular but relatively inexperienced boxer? Furthermore, would Dana actually be necessary for staging such an event?
Couldn't Floyd and Al Haymon put on a crossover show on their own with a similar degree of success?
Keep in mind, the UFC brand doesn't currently possess the same kind of superstar power it once bolstered. Does the UFC roster actively boast an athlete with the kind of draw Connor McGregor and Rhonda Rousey once brought to the bargaining table?
So what would Dana White actually bring to the table that would greatly benefit both Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Al Haymon?
The promotional guru has some ideas on how to improve upon the now fringe American pastime that is boxing.
"First of all what I would do is, it's not rocket science, I would put on the fights that everyone wants to see. I would absolutely raise the production value," insists Dana White.
"Ever since HBO's gotten out of the sport, the production value (has suffered). It's one of my pet peeves; it drives me crazy. Listen, I don't want to s*** on other people's stuff, but let's be honest, DAZN's production is horrendous. There are so many things that I would fix."
"I would hold HBO as the gold standard. As much as I loved HBO Boxing, I also felt it didn't change much in 30 years. HD was the only difference...other than that, it was the same everything. Same ring, same set-up, same everything. But HBO absolutely, positively did it the best in my opinion."
"I would put on a better in-house live show. The fights would move quicker, you wouldn't have two and a half hours of walk-ins, everybody's national anthem, and all of the other stuff that goes on. It would be like a UFC event, move quickly and look better. It would be slicker...the live event would be much better."
One of the areas where boxing absolutely needs improvement is the live gate. Promoters are finding it increasingly difficult to attract mainstream and casual fans to their big events. One reason for this is, a lot like the current state of UFC, is boxing's apparent lack of big ticket sellers. Since Mayweather's official retirement, boxing has had trouble producing a guaranteed attraction that isn't solely dependent on a quality match-up or B-side pairing.
If Floyd were to come back during the summer of 2020, he wouldn't seemingly have any trouble attracting mainstream attention to his return event. So again, how exactly would Dana White benefit Floyd Mayweather Promotions and PBC?
If Floyd Mayweather Sr. had his druthers, his son wouldn't be working in collaboration with Dana White throughout 2020.
"I'm gonna tell you like this...me, myself personally...I don't like him (Floyd Jr.) coming back period," stated Floyd Sr. to "The Mac Life" several weeks ago in his own entertaining and unique way.
"It's him and his call in what he do, but I don't like it. I like where he is right now."
"I don't like certain things, especially with certain people like Dana."
The patriarch of the Mayweather clan didn't (or couldn't) elaborate as to why he didn't like the idea of his son working with the UFC president. Does Mayweather Sr. view White as an opportunist who doesn't really bring anything to the table which could enhance what Money Mayweather and Al Haymon are already doing by themselves?
Does Floyd Sr. believe, as many current boxing insiders do, that White would be using Mayweather's brand to help boost UFC's level of stagnating popularity, and it wouldn't be a truly symbiont partnership?
The truth will ultimately reveal itself in 2020.