- UFC newbie Joe Pyfer told boss Dana White he thought he might end up homeless.
- Pyfer said White then gave him enough money to pay rent for an entire year.
- “[Pyfer] told me that he was about to be homeless,” White said this week. “That ain’t gonna happen.”
LAS VEGAS – When Dana White heard that Joe Pyfer could be homeless the UFC boss dug into his own pocket to ensure the aspiring fighter had enough money to pay rent for an entire year.
“I do a lot of things for a lot of people that I don’t necessarily talk about,” the 53-year-old MMA executive told reporters this week.
“Joe Pyfer, when I left the press conference that night, told me that he was about to be homeless. So — that ain’t gonna happen.”
Pyfer was the first Contender Series athlete White signed to a full-time UFC deal this season.
It was a notable addition to the roster as it arrived on a night in which no other contracts were given out. White had fumed at what he saw as a lack of effort and desire from other combatants featured on that card.
“If you want to get into the UFC and this is where you want to be, act like Joe Pyfer,” White said. “Be Joe Pyfer.”
Pyfer said his boss ‘gave me a home for a year’
After impressing White on the Contender Series earlier this summer, Pyfer made his UFC debut at the Apex this month and beat Alen Amedovski with a first-round knockout.
Later, Pyfer told reporters that he looked around for White immediately after that win because he wanted to thank him. “He gave me a home for a year,” the middleweight said.
“He gave me money on the side of Contender. And, really, that secured me being able to have a place to live for the next year, on the house of Dana.
“I think the guy gets shit on a lot for not being a good dude or, you know, whatever bullshit that people say sometimes. I don’t know any of the other stories, but as far as how he’s treated me, he’s treated me gracefully.”
Pyfer continued: “He’s my boss, and I want to like him, I want to respect him, and I have all the respect in the world for him. So, to me, it means something to go shake my boss’ hand after I go to work for him.”
White said there is great lead-in potential now for the UFC as Contender Series has begun ‘trending worldwide’
Dana White’s Contender Series has unearthed a number of promising talents this season.
There’s been the grappling prowess of Bo Nickal, who returns for a second fight on the show Tuesday; an up-and-comer called Cameron Saaiman, who blew White’s mind with his abilities; the knockout artist Yusaku Kinoshita, and 17-year-old sensation Raul Rosas Jr.
White said that interest in prospects such as this has led to UFC Fight Night events where Contender Series graduate Pyfer has already performed (and won).
“This is the first season where, if we put on fights now, these fights start trending worldwide,” White said. “Like our pay-per-views do, or our big fights.
“So it’s never happened until this season where, tonight, during that fight we were trending No. 4 worldwide. This just started this season.”
The final Contender Series episode of the summer takes place Tuesday at the Apex in Las Vegas.