“It just seems like he is getting further and further away. I have Golem pictured in my head. Once you get to a certain point: there is a point of no return. I would love to see him changed.”– June White
Sometimes in the pursuit of greatness we get lost. The old tale of Faust selling his soul to the Devil is commonly used. The brand of UFC has a face: Dana White, whom has been credited for helping spearhead the company from bankruptcy to a successful brand. One asks at what cost? June White, Dana’s mom, whom raised him, says the cost was too great. Losing all that she loved in a son was more than she could bare and inspired her to write a tell-all book.
The Book (Dana White: King of MMA) was originally meant for Dana to read and perhaps snap him back to the son she once knew. The style of the book is written as if you were having a conversation with June who was remembering the moments as opposed to a perfect chronological fact based book. Filled with metaphors to help the reader understand what June was feeling at those moments and guiding the reader how June lost her loving son.
The book is not without controversy, from the fans who attack the author because they only want to “see” the good, popular MMA forums deleting any conversation about the book, to Dana White himself blocking people from his Twitter who have added June as their twitter friend.
June White speaks with RSR on her controversial book…
MA: I get the impression that you are big into movies?
Actually, not at all, I don’t see very many movies…it just seems some of those things were fitting for what I was thinking at the time.
MA: Rooster Story, really shows the humorous side of your story telling? Is that something you added on purpose?
I wanted to give people the feeling of who Dana White really is and the life he had. I think he grew up with a pretty normal life for a kid. The rooster thing, I just thought it was funny and was one of those stories I never forgot. Here is Mr. Tough Guy and he is being terrorized by a rooster.
MA: You mentioned in the book how New York was the best city in the world. What is about NY you liked?
I do love New York; I think it’s a great city with so much energy there. I love all the people and things to do; Restaurants, theater… there is nothing New York City doesn’t have.
MA: You got out of a bad relationship at 21 years old and a high school drop out with two children. What gave you the courage to do it?
I actually did it for my kids. My dad was abusive to my mom. Not that he didn’t provide for us, Dana’s dad didn’t even do that much, but the thought of them growing up their whole lives with that? I didn’t want to put them through it. I didn’t want to live through it. So, I didn’t see any alternative but to leave him and build some sort of a life for me and the kids together.
MA: Why did you choose to become a nurse?
I was always good in math and science when I was in school. Back in those days, believe me; women didn’t have a big choice of jobs. So, it was hard to decide what I could do and make a living off of and still be able to raise the two kids. It was either a teacher or a nurse. So I thought I tried the nursing side and see how it went, and it went pretty well.
MA: You really made an effort to reach out to Dana in writing this book. Has it been therapeutic for you?
Yes it has. I was hoping that he might read the book. Somebody told me that he was asked recently, I don’t know where it was, but if he read the book and he said no. So that’s too bad and sad. If I put that out there, he could at least look at it. But it has been therapeutic, because I was really mad at him for what he did to his grandmother. So, I think writing about it and getting the book out there sort of helped.
The book was only out there for a short period. It was really meant for Dana to read and help him to step back and look at the person he has become. And then it was pulled. But then I started getting emails and harassed basically everywhere online. It was brutal, I wasn’t prepared for it. But there were a lot of people on Twitter telling me not to worry about it. Zuffa has a department in their company and that’s all they do when they want to discredit people. So that made me angry all over again and the book went back out there.
MA: You have included many adventures that Dana had; do you think it would have been very different if he grew up in this video game age?
Oh yeah, I am sure it would have been. Back then, it was a little town that we lived in named “Ware, Massachusetts,” like a throwback to older times. The kids actually went outside to play. To the woods and skate on the pond and you didn’t have to worry. Yeah I thought he had a great life for a little boy back then.
MA: Throughout the book, you made several references to Dana standing up for people in time of need. Do you feel that is the real Dana: a person who stands up for those who can’t?
I do. He always was like that. You know he was born in 69’ so we were still a little hippy-ish back then. It was all about peace and love, no fighting and no war. It’s amazing how things change. He was always a good little boy. He was just as sweet as you can be. Even as he got older, into the early twenties, he was like that. I don’t see it in him now but he has changed an awful lot.
MA: Dana did train in boxing but did he compete in sanctioned amateur bouts?
I don’t know if he ever had any. I would have thought if he did sanctioned amateur matches I would have known about it, especially in southie: Southies are a big part of boxing. Every kid growing up wanted to be a boxer over there; I am just surprised if he had them I never knew about it. I knew he was training with this guy called Peter Welch he still has a gym there. And I didn’t realize that he done any fighting. I know that has been a question that I have been getting a lot of people asking me. On Twitter, Facebook and apparently there is some big thing about it. I told them honestly I don’t know that he had any sanctioned matches. Apparently he is telling people he had 15?
MA: OK, well obviously he did train and he did help save a long standing community gym.
He trained bunch of little kids and Peter set up a gym for the kids to come in and train. He did a lot of that.
MA: You told your son, Dana: “I don’t care what you choose to do in life, but make sure you’re the best at it. Do it one hundred percent. Do not just be mediocre or put your time in every day.” Also how you worked long hours and he is working long hours. Do you think that part of you rubbed off on Dana?
I think so. Once he found what he really liked to do. He just dove right into it and put the hours in. I did used to tell him that it doesn’t matter what you do, just do it 100 percent and be the best at it. It seems like at least somewhere in the back of his mind that is still there.
MA: Do you feel although Dana has changed, that there is still hope for him?
I am always hoping. It just seems like he is getting further and further away. I have Golem pictured in my head. Once you get to a certain point: there is a point of no return. I would love to see him changed.
Some people defend him, saying “that’s the way he has to be in this business,” but it isn’t really. You don’t have to be like that.
MA: The book felt, as the reader, that I was there…with you telling me the story of Dana.
It was written that way…like there sitting with me and I am telling them stories about Dana and the way things were when he grew up and the kind of kid he was. There are a lot of stories out there with a lot of misinformation about him. The kind of life he had, all alone in the mean streets of Boston and Las Vegas. He was 20 years old when he moved to Boston. I figure that’s old enough to go out on your own.
MA: Any final thoughts?
Thank you, it was nice talking with you.
The book can be purchased at Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Dana-White-King-MMA-unauthorized/dp/0983634610/ref