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Dana White says he was threatened by Nevada governor after ‘going crazy’ on NSAC

Dana White talks about how a Nevada governor threatened to pull the UFC’s license over criticisms towards the NSAC.

UFC president Dana White at the UFC 265 presser in August 2021.
UFC president Dana White at the UFC 265 presser in August 2021.
Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

UFC president Dana White isn’t known to hold back his opinions. Especially during the Zuffa years, the ever-outspoken executive spared no one, from judges to referees, and even the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Here’s what White said about the NSAC in the wake of the controversial UFC 167 scoring of the 2013 welterweight title headliner between Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks:

“I think the Nevada State Athletic Commission is atrocious,” White told the media during the post-fight presser. “I think the governor needs to step in immediately before these guys destroy this sport like they did boxing.

“The alternatives are that the governor needs to step in and fix the incompetence that is happening in the state of Nevada that used to be the best commission in the world. It’s absolute 100 percent incompetence, and it needs to stop, and I’m scared to come back here and do fights. I’m afraid of this state.”

Without naming names, White said a Nevada governor didn’t take his comments lightly. As he revealed on his pre-UFC 272 appearance on the Pat McAfee Show on Monday, it came to a point where the UFC’s promotion license in the state was in danger of being pulled.

“Back then, when I was going crazy on the athletic commission… I was home on a Sunday morning after a fight and my phone rang,” White said. “It was the governor of Nevada. He basically… me and him had like one of those (conversations).

“He’s like, ‘If you ever f—ng talk shit about the state of Nevada like that again, I’ll pull your license. You’ll never promote another fight again…’ I said, ‘Thank you, sir. May I have another?’ No, I did not (say that).”

As we all know, things were eventually sorted out and White has been able to freely put on events in Nevada, even at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The UFC is set to host another major fight card in the state this weekend as UFC 272 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.