Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White had big plans for his return to Boston on Aug. 17, when UFC is scheduled to fill up TD Garden for the launch of Fox Sports 1.
He has even bigger plans now that his city is dealing with the long recovery from the events surrounding this year’s Boston Marathon.
White was in Boston this week with the goal of raising money for The One Fund and helping those affected by the tragedy, and he said he hopes to take a more personal approach — something he wasn’t comfortable doing just yet — when he returns in August.
“People are still hurting,” he told The Boston Globe. “When I say that, I don’t mean physically. People still need time. I got money that we are donating for people, but I’m backing off on the whole meeting people. Even mayor [Tom] Menino is still visiting families. People are emotionally trying to deal with what’s going on, so I backed off a bit.”
While White is giving people their space, he didn’t hold off on using strong words when he talked about the attack on the city that was his home and training ground for so long.
“From a guy who’s walked those streets and been there at the finish line so many times, it really freaked me out,” he said. “It still freaks me out. I have a hard time talking about it. How cowardly and disgusting that these people, who lived in the city as long as they did, did that. To put the bag right next to kids — I don’t even like talking about it. It’s just disgusting. … It hit me so hard, obviously, because it’s a city that I love.”
White didn’t keep a completely low profile when in town — he and UFC held a #Hunt4UFC scavenger hunt in Boston even though those occasions are usually reserved for cities hosting a fight. He detailed that adventure on his Twitter feed.
It sounds like he’ll be back in August with much more.