Martial-Arts Maven To Speak at Oxford

Compiled by Dave Itzkoff Published: August 31, 2010, NYT

After the bitterly fought contest for its professor of poetry seat, and the appointment of Trevor Nunn to a visiting professorship that bears the name of his colleague-turned-nemesis Cameron Mackintosh, Oxford University is now bracing itself for a visit from Dana White, the president of Ultimate Fighting Championship, who has been invited to address the Oxford Union Society in the fall. Mr. White, the 41-year-old athlete and entrepreneur who has helped guide the championship from sideshow status to a mainstream, internationally televised mixed-martial-arts competition, has been asked to speak to the Oxford Union on Oct. 13. The Oxford Union is the 187-year-old debating society that has been addressed by a variety of speakers, including the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa, as well as Jon Bon Jovi and Kermit the Frog, none of whom were previously associated with an octagonal fighting ring.