Last year when the pandemic shut everything down and put all sports on the sidelines, one dude leaned into his love of fighting to literally push his way through restrictions and our collective fear. In the process, he created the blueprint that would allow athletes to compete in this bizarre new world. That man, UFC’s Dana White, is my guest on this week’s episode of “Renaissance Man.”
In June, UFC announced the launch of “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, which was a way to get around travel restrictions, and create a contained environment where COVID-free bouts could happen and be watched on Pay-Per-View. What seemed like a Willy Wonka-esque experiment actually worked. And in July, the NBA would follow suit, launching their bubble in Disney World. “I always said, let’s take this thing head-on and let’s figure it out,” he told me about COVID-19. “Find solutions because … There’s a standard rule. You have something like this that happens to your business. OK, so here’s what we need to do. We shut down, we get rid of 30% of our staff. We cut all of our executive pay in half.