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Anyone who knows big business knew it was just a matter of time before things would begin to fluctuate at the UFC. Most true long time hard core MMA fans cringe at the thought of change and expand, however to be a success change is needed. WME/IMG is taking ever so slowly the playbook from VINCE MCMAHON. Not in the “management runs into the cage and fights” story line; but in the “behind the scenes” path. When LORENZO and FRANK FERTITTA, and DANA WHITE bought the UFC; they bought it as fight fans who wanted to nurture the lifeblood of the sport. They obviously also wanted to profit from it as well. They succeeded way beyond anyone’s dreams and beliefs, and set a new mark that will be hard to beat on the value of a company, let alone a sports one. Purchasing the company for $4.2 BILLION automatically put the company in serious financial restraints. Accommodations would have to be narrowed to save money as literally every penny counts. Expenses deemed too grand would be sliced for example 4 day fan fests turning into 1 day appearances.

Now some money is coming in that will change the game even more. While no one argues that WME/IMG front men ARI EMANUEL and PATRICK WHITESELL are fight fans; there visions come from the world of entertainment. We have all seen thanks in part to the day and age we live in now that social media shock waves can make matches faster than match makers can rankings be damned. The LA TIMES last week said the mega company raised $1.1 BILLION from 2 international investors. Thoughts were it was to buy out most minority partners. DANA WHITE then said “I’m going no where, I’m burrowing myself in….. like a tick”. With this needed influx of capital bills and loans will be paid, some minority partners will be bought out, and larger partners will sell pieces; which will then give WME/IMG a 51% majority ownership. Vince McMahon innovated the sports and entertainment brand. Ari and Patrick hope to surpass it. One of the biggest differences though is there are way many more moving parts in the MMA world than in pro wrestling.

UFC fans just have to hope that they don’t see one day Dana instead of putting a belt around a champions waist; hit them over the head with it, or a training partner jump a fighter from behind in the cage.



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