It looks like UFC president, Dana White has a new reason to be smiling. Not only have the last few UFC events been extremely successful and entertaining, accompanied by a sold out and much hyped UFC fan expo in Boston this past weekend, but he was just invited to be the guest speaker this year at Oxford University’s annual debate club event. The 187-year-old Oxford Union Society has asked White to speak on October 13th, which coincides with UFC 120: Bisping vs Akiyama on Spike TV live from London.
The society has been known for its ties to the upper tiers of politics, and past speakers include Sir Winston Churchill, Robert Kennedy and Yasser Arafat. Other past speakers at the club are former U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, as well as Malcolm X, Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein.
White said he’s expecting to respond to tough questions with straight answers.
“Anyone who knows anything about me knows I always speak my mind and am very passionate about what I do, and the Oxford Union was founded on exactly those principles,” White said in a statement released by UFC. “I’m looking forward to meeting the students, and I know they have a reputation for asking tough questions and expecting straight answers from their guests. That’s exactly what they’ll get from me.”
“As president of UFC, Dana has created a billion dollar global sports company in less than a decade and we look forward to hearing his take on the rise of the UFC and giving us greater insight into this phenomenon,” said Ash Sangha, the group’s vice president, according to the statement from the UFC through the AP. White also will visit the Oxford Union Library and meet with Oxford Entrepreneurs, another campus student society, during his visit.
This is an honor for White, who has obviously set himself apart from his major league competitors with his candor and business acumen. Reading the article on ESPN brought a smile to my face, since this time honored organization has recognized the hard work and good nature of the UFC and gets it. What do I mean by ‘gets it?’ They are not put off by the swearing or the violent nature of the sport, but understand that what they are seeing is a brutally honest take on running a professional sports organization that is rising faster than any other; as well as a fun, intelligent person to have a debate with.
(Credit: ESPN.COM, UFC.COM)
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