Even before Endeavor merged them together under the TKO Group umbrella, WWE and the UFC were never really direct competitors. There’s definitely some overlap in the pro wrestling and mixed martial arts customer bases, but not enough to have ever prompted an inter-promotional “war”.
Despite that, there always seemed to be a bit of an adversarial relationship between the men leading those companies — WWE founder & Chairman Vince McMahon and UFC’s long-time President & frontman Dana White.
Now that they both essentially work for Ari Emanuel, White tells Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso that animosity is gone. He also opened up a bit about their past:
“My history with Vince isn’t a good one,” said White. “He tried to f--- me so many times for no reason whatsoever except just to f--- me. But that’s in the past. Now that Vince and I are allies, no one’s been a better partner than Vince.”
“Since day one of the deal, it’s like I’m dealing with a different guy,” said White. “It goes to show that when you oppose him, or he thinks you are opposing him, the guy comes after you blindly. Once you are aligned, Vince is an incredible partner.
“We’ve probably spoken on the phone 20 times since the deal. It’s all added-value conversation–with Vince doing work and raising the bar for both companies.”
“Vince McMahon, man, he’s an absolute savage,” said White. “Even with the stuff that went down with us in the past, I respect it. I love killers. He’s definitely a killer. He’s the Michael Jordan of the business world.”
White also told Barrasso that he’s always had a great relationship with Paul “Triple H” Levesque and Stephanie McMahon, pre and post-TKO merger, “but the most amazing story is the relationship with Vince McMahon.”
Even though we’re only get a small sample of it, that story does sound pretty amazing.