Everyone is having a good laugh at the idea of Dana Fucking White speaking to the Oxford Union Society during the leadup to UFC 120 in London. What, a foul mouthed Yankee involved with something that has the word Oxford in it? Poppycock! To try and put the situation in perspective, I turned to one of our resident Brits, Carcass, to tell me more about the situation:
Make no mistake, this is a really big deal. Being invited to address the Union is a massive honour. This is the oldest seat of learning and intellectual freedom in the English speaking world. Of the presidents of the Union, five have gone on to become Prime Minister. Many more were members. Ostensibly, it is due to Dana’s success as an entrepreneur in turning the UFC into a global multi-billion dollar corporation that has led to his recognition and invitation. However, anyone even vaguely capable of reading between the lines can see what is being set up here. Some of the finest young minds from Great Britain and the rest of the world will be in attendance and probing for weak spots in Dana’s promotion of a violent sport. Make no mistake, this is likely to be a hostile (albeit extremely polite) audience.
So let’s be clear: this isn’t going to be a big Dana White wanking session like the Fan Club Q&As. It’s going to be British academia trying to ask clever questions that paint mixed martial arts as uncivilized. Joining the Union is all about ‘developing debating skills’, aka learning how to tear someone down in a mannerly fashion. This event now sounds a hell of a lot more interesting to me than it did before.
And as far as it being unusual for someone like Dana White to appear here, he’s not even the oddest speaker the Society has had. Jon Bon Jovi, Shakira, and Kermit the Frog have also made appearances.