Dana White, president of the UFC, owes the existence of the sport to a legendary Boston gangster named James “Whitey” Bulger.
The movie “Black Mass”, starring Johnny Depp, has James Bulger as the subject of the it. The said movie that is set to release on September 18, will show everyone how Bulger was a mainstay in the organized crime scene around Boston, and his gang actually had a run-in with UFC president Dana White long before he was a successful mixed martial arts promoter.
The MMA promotion president has discussed before the experience that he had with some Boston mobsters. White was told by the mobsters that he had to start paying them for him to operate in ‘their’ neighbourhood or else – this was the reason why he had to leave town and move to Las Vegas.
During White’s appearance on “The Herd”, he discussed how Bugler’s top man eventually led him in moving to a different location – to Las Vegas.
“My partner and I, Peter (Welch), we ran a ‘get kids off the street’ program back there and we used to teach boxing classes, however we could make money, we made money. So one day I was teaching a class in one of the big clubs in South Boston and these two guys walked into the class and said, ‘Hey, we need to talk to you.’ At first I’m thinking, ‘Does this guy own the club?’ and when he asked me, ‘Do you know who I am?’ that was when I realized what was going on. He basically said, ‘You owe us money’. It was like $2,500, which was like $25,000 to me back then, and said, ‘You owe us money.’.
“It was actually a guy named Kevin Weeks, who if you saw the trial he’s Whitey’s right-hand man. I’m sure he’s very prominent in the movie, but yeah basically said I owed him some money, and I didn’t pay him. This went on for a while and one day I was at my place and I got a call and they said, ‘You owe us the money tomorrow by 1 o’clock’. I literally hung up the phone, picked up the phone and called Delta and bought a ticket to Vegas.”