Our Man of Letters

UFC President Dana White at Oxford? You better F’in believe it

Harold Macmillan, the former prime minister of the United Kingdom, once called the Oxford Union Society “the last bastion of free speech in the Western world.” That distinction might be put to the test Oct. 13 when UFC president and renowned blue-language expert Dana White addresses the prestigious student-run debating society at the University of Oxford three days before UFC 120 in London.

The 187-year-old Oxford Union has hosted a long list of influential speakers, including Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa, Malcolm X, Robert Kennedy and U.S. presidents Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

The invitation actually isn’t as odd as it seems. White, 41, is responsible for turning the Las Vegas-based UFC—once a niche attraction on the verge of folding—into a global enterprise valued at more than $1 billion with 300 million fans worldwide. Viewed in that light, it makes perfect sense that an entrepreneur such as White would be asked to discuss his business acumen; after all, he attended the Microsoft CEO summit in May alongside Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and other moguls of capitalism.

Not to mention that Oxford isn’t quite as stuffy as you might guess in its choice of speakers. The list of past invitees includes O.J. Simpson, Jerry Springer, Michael Jackson, Ron Jeremy and Kermit the Frog.

Still, White dropping a few F-bombs at the oldest university in the English-speaking world could be more entertaining than anything taking place in the Octagon that week.

Suggested Next Read

Seven Days

Seven Days

The highlights of this week in your city.