Dana White explains why UFC dodged Boxing’s curse of killing 4 to 5 men a year

UFC President Dana White recently addressed why his organization has avoided the tragic curse that plagues boxing, where an average of 4 to 5 boxers die each year from injuries sustained in the ring.

White credits the UFC’s substantial investment in medical screening, safety protocols, and healthcare for stars as the key reasons why there has never been a death in the UFC after over 7,000 bouts across 30 years.

“We spend a lot of money on making sure you have two healthy athletes that go in there, making sure the right medical attention is there,” White explained to Bill Maher. “After every fight, even if the doctor clears the fighter, we send them to the hospital anyway for a full medical evaluation. We overspent on medical care from day one.”

White contrasted the UFC’s approach with boxing, stating “In boxing, on average 4 to 5 boxers die a year. The reason why is because they don’t spend the money we do on ensuring fighter health and safety before, during, and after the fights.”

The UFC’s focus on fighter health screening has paid dividends according to White. “Over the last 20 years, our pre-fight screening has found 10 athletes that had life-threatening or career-ending medical issues. If they weren’t in the UFC, they probably would have fought and died.”

White vehemently rejected any comparison between UFC and bareknuckle boxing after a fatality in that sport, saying “We shouldn’t even be talked about in the same sentence as bareknuckle boxing. It’s two completely different worlds.”

While brain trauma remains an inherent risk in combat sports, the UFC has demonstrated that prioritizing fighter health through rigorous screening, top medical personnel, and comprehensive care can dramatically improve safety outcomes compared to boxing.

Previously white slammed bare knuckle boxing after a fatality saying: “I mean, in bare-knuckle fighting? I’m not a big fan. And I get, I guess I would call it concerned, when I see some of our people when they leave here and go there. It’s like, oh my God.”
“It’s two completely different worlds. And yes, we’re very sorry to hear that this guy passed away, but you’re never going to see any of these other organizations doing the type of health and safety and medical testing that we do for our athletes.”