Dana White has been nominated to be included in Time Magazine's Most Influential People. Yes, our own foul-mouthed UFC president has been noticed by the most mainstream media. By reader voting, he is even near the top of the most influential list, ahead of President Obama, Lady Gaga and boxer Manny Pacquiao.
Here's what Time had to say about White:
The sport White champions is officially called mixed-martial arts but he and his partners have successfully branded it Ultimate Fighting, the name of their outfit, and that's how it's almost universally known — to the chagrin of other MMA organizers. By doing so, he has revived a spectacle that had fallen into such disrepute that it was once described as "human cockfighting." Now, professional boxing wishes it were Ultimate Fighting. White is the UFC's public face, most pugnacious booster, No. 1 tweeter and irrepressible fan — the ruler of Fight Club.
Does he deserve to be included?
Considering the company he has helped build reached its apex last summer with UFC 100, yes. White has pushed the UFC to be an internationally known brand; in the past year, fights have been in Germany and Australia. Under his leadership, the UFC successfully lobbied to get MMA legalized or regulated in Wisconsin and his home state of Massachusetts, and they're headed to Vancouver for the first time this summer.
At the same time, the UFC is still struggling to get the sport legalized in New York. White suffered an especially public defeat last summer when Fedor Emelianenko signed with Strikeforce instead of the UFC. He also went through a PR mess when he dropped a slur against gays and another against women in a video blog in a rant about a reporter.
The good news is that voting isn't by a yes/no vote. You can rate White's level of influence on a scale of 1-100. Make your opinion known here.