Dana White Howie Mandel Podcast Screen grab: Howie Mandel Does Stuff

As both the company’s president and its biggest star, one of Dana White’s primary responsibilities is to promote UFC.

So it was curious to see White abruptly exit a podcast interview with Howie Mandel earlier this week, after the host merely opened the show by showering him with praise.

“Dana White, you are an amazing guy. I can’t thank you enough for being here,” Mandel said as he introduced the UFC president on his podcast, Howie Mandel Does Stuff. “You are not only an amazing businessman, you are an inspiration. You are a philosopher, the way you do business, the way you conduct your business and your friendships and media — I’m jealous. But Dana, I can’t thank you enough for being here.”

“Thank you for all the kind words, I appreciate it. I am so f***ing tired of doing podcasts. I’m literally done with them. I’m not doing any more podcasts,” White said before getting up and exiting, leaving Mandel and his co-hosts confused.

White’s abrupt departure left listeners trying to piece together what had happened. Was Mandel being disingenuous in his praise and White picked up on it and decided to leave? Was the whole thing staged in an attempt to drum up interest in both the podcast and UFC’s upcoming show?

Following the UFC 298 pay-per-view on Saturday night, White was asked about the viral clip. And if this whole thing was a work, then the 54-year-old is sticking to the script.

“You know where I’m at with the podcasts,” White responded when asked if he’d ever join the medium again. “I feel like f***ing Jordan Peterson; every time I turn on Instagram, I’m on a f***ing podcast. Yes, no more podcasts please. I’m podcasted out.”

Even taking White at his word, several questions remain unanswered, including why did he even showed up for Mandel’s show if he was just going to leave before the interview even started and what changed from just last week, when White gave an engaging interview on The Pat McAfee Show?

Despite White insisting that he’s merely just podcasted out, there clearly seems to be more to the story. It will be interesting to see how he continues to promote his product while also apparently avoiding one of the most popular mediums moving forward.

[Howie Mandel Does Stuff, UFC]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.