Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Damon Martin: Dana White on Possibly Purchasing Another Promotion: ‘We’re Done Buying Companies’

Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White at UFC 100
It started in 2006 when Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC, purchased both the World Fighting Alliance (WFA) and World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC).
The plan for the WFA was to secure certain fighters, most notably Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, who would soon appear in the UFC, and Carlos Condit, who was then moved over to the WEC.
The WEC would become the sister organization to the UFC where they developed lighter weight class fighters like featherweights and bantamweights before the promotion was ultimately folded into the UFC in 2010.
Then who could forget the epic purchase of Pride Fighting Championships by Zuffa in 2007. At the time, Pride was the only other MMA organization on a worldwide level that competed with the UFC, but as their financial structure crumbled they soon found themselves bought out.
Fighters like Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Wanderlei Silva soon found a new home in the UFC following the sale.
In 2011, Zuffa once again decided to gobble up another company as they purchased Strikeforce and opted to run it in similar fashion to what they once did with the WEC. The promotion acts as a separate entity, airing cards on Showtime, and having their own roster of fighters.
But since the purchase of Strikeforce, it seems as if UFC President Dana White has expressed more headaches than elation dealing with a secondary promotion and television network deal, so that may bring the end of Zuffa purchasing other organizations for a while.
On Tuesday while appearing at the UFC 150 pre-fight press conference, White was questioned about the possibility of them buying another promotion again down the road to bolster their roster or add more names to the mix.
His answer was to the point and didn’t leave much of a window open to any other possibility.
“We’re done buying companies,” White said with a disapproving look on his face.
Has the Strikeforce deal soured UFC officials from ever trying this experience again? Well for the time being it doesn’t look like it matters because the only other major promotion running in the United States right now is Bellator Fighting Championships, and they were just recently purchased by entertainment powerhouse, Viacom.
Outside of that there don’t appear to be any other major promotions on the market that the UFC would have interest in regardless of what fighters they have signed.
It looks like 4 companies purchased is enough for Zuffa and the UFC…for now at least.

Follow @DamonMartin on Twitter or e-mail Damon Martin.
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