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 April 19

by Carolina

UFC president Dana White is a powerful personality. The world’s biggest MMA promotion, UFC, has grown into a multi-billion dollar enterprise under White’s leadership. Since becoming the president of the UFC in 2001, Dana White has met a huge number of influential people, politicians and celebrities for various reasons.

In the process, the UFC boss has also made more than a handful of friends in all sorts of industries, be it from sports, political circles or Hollywood. To be frank, it would be unbelievable to scroll through Dana White’s contacts list and see the big names resting on his phone.

On that note, let’s look at five celebrities who are close friends with UFC president Dana White.

#5 – Olivia Munn

Dana White with Olivia Munn at an event | Photo via Just JaredAlistair Overeem getting pulled out after a drug test came back positive. While Dana White was clearly annoyed, he had his friend Olivia Munn to cheer him up at the post-event party.

Dana White’s tweets were as follows:

“Me and my buddy @Oliviamunn are having a blast 2 nite no matter how shitty my day was!!!!!!!”

“Forgot the pic with my girl @oliviamunn !!! Might be dr#*¥ and don’t give a Fu@#”

Dana White and Olivia Munn at the UFC 146 post-event partyDana White paid Snoop Dogg $20,000 after losing his wager on the Boston Celtics winning the NBA Championship.

Ever since, the bonhomie between Dana White and Snoop Dogg has been going strong. White has appeared a few times on Snoop Dogg’s GGN News. In 2010, the UFC boss was seen dancing alongside Snoop Dogg on-stage at one of the rapper’s shows in Las Vegas.

Dana White and Snoop Dogg’s friendship was on full display once more when the duo bet $1 million on the Jake Paul vs Ben Askren fight. The UFC boss’s money was on Ben Askren, who was supposedly representing the MMA community.

When Jake Paul KO’d Ben Askren in the first round, Snoop Dogg was heard shouting in the mic:

“Dana White, where my money at?”

#3 – Donald Trump

Donald Trump introducing UFC boss Dana White at a Republican National ConventionMMA Junkie of his friendship with Donald Trump ahead of Fight Island 3.

The former US president has even called Dana White multiple times to speak about fights in the UFC. Dana White revealed his telephone conversation with Donald Trump after Joaquin Buckley’s highlight reel KO of Impa Kasangaay in 2020:

“I talked to the president and he says to me, ‘Oh my God, this Buckley knockout … have you ever seen anything like this?’ And I said, ‘Mr. President, nobody has ever seen anything like this. It’s the most viral thing on the internet.'” – Dana White

With UFC being one of the first sports organisations to return after the covid-19 global lockdown with UFC 249, Donald Trump congratulated Dana White. White said he knew UFC 249 was a success when he got a cageside call from the President:

Dana White told The Athletic in May 2020, “He (Donald Trump) said, ‘Congratulations, you did it. I knew you were the guy. I knew you’d get it done.’ This guy has been such a good friend to me. He’s unbelievable. He’s awesome. I love the guy. I’d do anything for him.”

The UFC president has also spoken at the Republican National Convention.

#2 – Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg and Dana White hand out during a UFC event

Dana White on a radio show mentioned he lived with & coached Mark Wahlberg 4 months in boxing when he was doing “Boogie Night”. #UFC

— Jed I. Goodman (@jedigoodman) January 28, 2016

In an interview with The Boston Magazine, Dana White spoke about how he met Mark Wahlberg. White said:

“Right when I went back, I probably moved in with Wahlberg in ’96 or ’97 in L.A. He had just got done filming Boogie Nights and I was literally with him through all the Boogie Nights s**t. I saw Boogie Nights more times before the movie came out than any other movie I had ever seen.”

Throwing light on his experiences living with Mark Wahlberg, Dana White said:

“I lived with Wahlberg for probably five months. He was a great roommate, I had a blast… Wahlberg is a good athlete. The house that we lived in when I was with him was a house that he rented. Now he’s got this house, he’s got like a real Celtics basketball court in his backyard. He’s got a whole boxing gym. It’s pretty cool.”

Mark Wahlberg is an MMA junkie. When the UFC was acquired by Zuffa in 2016, the Hollywood star was one of the first celebrities to acquire a stake in the world’s premier MMA promotion.

Wahlberg often attends UFC events and has even worked with former UFC star Ronda Rousey for the film Mile 22.

#1 – Shaquille O’Neal

Dana White, Shaquille OESPN:

“Shaq did the first Ultimate Fighter. That season, he shot the commercial for us. And he killed it. It was cool and different than anything else done in fighting. Anytime I have ever needed Shaq, he was there. And anytime he ever needs me, I’m here. We’ve been friends for a long time. Forget about all the celebrity stuff, you couldn’t meet a more quality human being than Shaquille O’Neal.”

Being an MMA fan, Shaq once visited the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas on an episode of Big Chicken Shaq. He sparred with former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin and bantamweight fighter Claudia Gadelha. His friend Dana White was refereeing the fight.

Published 19 Apr 2021, 16:05 IST

Original posted at www.sportskeeda.com

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