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Dana White removed as president of UFC following merger with WWE


Dana White has been removed from the role of president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The move comes just days after World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and UFC merged to form a new entity TKO. White, however, will not be stepping away from UFC. White will now reportedly work under the TKO banner as the new UFC CEO.

Dana White speaking at a news conference. (AP)

“I’m excited about the future and what we’re going to do. And I always am, regardless, but after this merger, we are much more powerful than yesterday. Everything that goes on here I decide. Nothing has changed. We will continue to kick ass as we do every year. For people who are fighters or media or whoever, this just takes the whole thing to another level. It is much bigger and therefore much more powerful. When you think about all the things I want to do before my time is up, it made today a lot easier and a lot more doable,” White said at the UFC “Carrier Series” press conference.

Dana White, 54, has been handling duties at UFC since 2001. While involved with the promotion, he did an exceptional job of transforming UFC from a near-bankrupt company into a formidable force in the combat sports arena. White played a key role in building the UFC to its current stature. Speaking about his new role, White said “nothing has changed”.

“The CEO thing… is a lateral move for me. I run everything that happens here. Everything that goes on here, I decide, so there is no change. It’s only three letters,” White was quoted as saying by USA Today.

The merger of WWE and UFC was first announced earlier this year in April. Endeavor, the UFC’s parent company, will own 51 percent of the newly formed TKO entity, which began trading on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this week on Tuesday. It is reported that the TKO Board of Directors will be led by Vince McMahon as the executive chairman of the board. It is understood that there are 11 members on the board. Meanwhile, WWE shareholders will own 49 percent of TKO.

According to media reports, Vince McMahon will be the executive chairman of TKO. Endeavor’s Ari Emanuel will take on the role of CEO in TKO. Mark Shapiro, representing Endeavor, will serve as president and chief operating officer of the new company. Speaking to ESPN, UFC senior executive vice president and chief operating officer Lawrence Epstein previously said that White will be running the day-to-day operations of the UFC.

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