Dana White Brings Doggy Style To UFC Broadcasts

Recently, UFC President Dana White announced that he was introducing a new broadcast commentary feature to his Tuesday Night Contender Series. The series focuses on finding the next generation of talent, giving competitors the biggest stage of their lives in an attempt to make it onto the UFC roster.

The event, shown live and exclusively on the subscription service UFC Fight Pass, will now feature the SnoopCast, where Snoop will bring his irreverent humor and freestyle commentary to the action. Available as a secondary audio feed to the primary broadcast team, SnoopCast will provide an experience that allows subscribers to toggle between both streams in real time.

Snoop Dogg on UFC 210 – Daniel Cormier

Before he defends his light heavyweight championship at UFC 210, Snoop Dogg offers his commentary on the highlights of Daniel Cormier.

Joining him on SnoopCast will be newly minted UFC Hall of Famer Urijah Faber, a UFC/WEC veteran of over 40 professional fights, rounding out what is sure to be an interesting new commentary team, to say the least.

Additionally, viewers will have the opportunity to see Snoop and Faber via picture-in-picture technology throughout the fights, serving as a complement to a traditional play-by-play team broadcasting through the main feed.

When the UFC announced that 23 celebrities, including the Williams sisters, Tom Brady and The Weeknd, were partial investors, it sparked interest as to what new enhancements would come to the premier MMA organization. With the TV landscape shifting towards subscription models like Netflix, it is no surprise that the UFC is attempting to enhance its subscription-based amenities.

Snoop Dogg on UFC 210 – Anthony Johnson

Snoop Dogg offers his commentary on the highlights of Anthony “Rumble” Johnson before he challenges Daniel Cormier for the UFC light heavyweight championship at UFC 210.

However, with the immense racial disparities that the UFC has with promoting athletes of color, is Snoop Dogg the UFCs first formal outreach to appeal to communities of color? When he was fighting, Urijah Fabers walkout song was Tupac and Dr. Dre’s California Love. It encompassed the Sacramento natives love for his home state and provided a high-energy arena entrance that branded him as The California Kid.

Also, Snoop Dogg had performed at the lavish UFC private employee Christmas party in the past. He has a great relationship with Dana White and is an avid UFC fan, but is this move a pander to the black community or a genuine entertainment enhancement?

Snoop Dogg on UFC 209 – Stephen Thompson

Before UFC 209, Snoop Dogg gives his take on the moves of Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.

Recently, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson got into it with White over his refusal to fight T.J. Dillashaw. The former UFC bantamweight champion would be debuting at flyweight and Johnson felt he didn’t deserve a shot at arguably the best fighter in UFC history. 

Johnson claimed that his fights don’t draw on pay-per-view and sell well due to a lack of promotion. White fired back that he could close the division if he so chose.

Tyron Woodley’s last fight against Stephen Wonderboy Thompson left no doubt that he was the best welterweight in the world. Yet Woodley has long claimed that the UFC doesnt understand how to promote him while saying that racism is prevalent throughout the sport.

Snoop Dogg on UFC 209 – Tyron Woodley

Snoop Dogg gives his commentary on the highlights of UFC welterweight champ Tyron Woodley before UFC 209.

It does seem that Dana White placates to the extent of his understanding of certain black people. When it comes to the sensationalist fighters like a Rampage Jackson or salaciously branded fighters like Jon Jones, he is crystal clear on their promotional value. But with regular family men without a heap of skeletons in the closet or catchy gimmicks like chains and wolf howls, he is at a loss.

Snoop Dogg is a pop culture icon. However, in a sports genre more akin to a NASCAR racing audience than basketball or football, Snoop Dogg does seem like a strange bedfellow for a broadcast.

As entertainment powerhouse WME-IMG continues to flex its clout and bring new concepts the UFC model, we will see how they appeal to the current fan base while fleshing out their position multi-culturally. 

However, it must be noted that if providing Snoop an audience to be a comical sideshow and not elevate past fighters of color like Shonie Carter, Vernon White or even Anthony Rumble Johnson, the UFC is doing a great disservice. Comedy is comedy and by the looks of Snoops popular online podcast and movie appearances, he is fully committed to that lane.

Still, the UFC must be careful as it already has a pre-established disconnect with communities of color. A habitual cultural line-stepper such as Snoop Dogg paired with the all-American white wrestler doesnt solve that problem.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. RhettĀ hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.