UFC chief Dana White has responded to the “dummies” criticizing him for making Bud Light the official beer of the sports company.
Earlier this week, Bud Light and the UFC announced they had made a massive $100 million sponsorship deal.
Bud Light has had an extremely rough year, after a partnership with transgender activist and influencer Dylan Mulvaney prompted a massive and sustained boycott by conservatives. Liberals later joined the boycott after claiming the brand did not do enough to defend the TikTok celebrity.
News of the sponsorship deal prompted calls for a UFC boycott.
White was asked about the backlash following “Power Slap 5” on Wednesday, according to a report from TMZ.
Dana White defends the UFC’s new Budlight deal, and says it was more about values than money. pic.twitter.com/YIw9aD2XJh
— Oscar Willis (@oscarswillis) October 26, 2023
Responding to the critics calling him a sellout and all about the money, White called them “dummies” and asserted that of course sponsorship deals are about the cash.
“Everybody on every side of this deal that were involved — other beer companies and everything else — absolutely, positively knows that this was not about money for me,” Dana said. “We were going to end up with money no matter who we ended up with.”
White claimed that he selected Bud Light because they support the military, law enforcement and local farmers.
“I saw some other f***ing a**hole today saying, ‘Oh, it sounds like they wrote him a script on what to say.’ Nobody writes me a script. Nobody tells me what to say. Ever.”
According to a press release from the companies, “With this sponsorship, in the U.S., Bud Light will bring easy enjoyment to 21+ fans with 360-degree programming, including custom social and digital content, broadcast integration, on-site presence, and more.”
This will include prominent branding inside the Octagon at every UFC event, other in-arena promotion, and “original content distributed through UFC’s popular digital and social channels.”
UFC CEO Dana White said in a statement when the sponsorship was announced, “Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light were UFC’s original beer sponsors more than fifteen years ago. I’m proud to announce we are back in business together. There are many reasons why I chose to go with Anheuser-Busch and Bud Light, most importantly because I feel we are very aligned when it comes to our core values and what the UFC brand stands for. I’m looking forward to all of the incredible things we will do in the years ahead.”
Bud Light had been the top selling beer in the US for over two decades, but was pushed out of the top spot and replaced by Modelo during the boycott.
Previous attempts to win back conservative beer drinkers included donating to a veteran’s organization, making camo print beer cans, and using more football and country music in their commercials.
The UFC partnership is scheduled to begin on January 1.