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Dana White and UFC want to pump you up and take over the fitness industry…

By Zach Arnold | January 29, 2009

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Update (1/29): UFC will now employ the branding of fighters to drum up interest in the new gyms.

Original post (1/26)

… by reportedly opening up their own brand of gyms for people to exercise at. Dana White says he’s going after the major players in the fitness industry.

Just what does this remind you of? What are those initials, WBF… what did they stand for…

(Cue up the boxercise jokes that people will start launching about the UFC President.)

You’ll notice that the name 24 Hour Fitness is used here as a reference point. It doesn’t feel like they’re going after the Gold’s Gym type of crowd, but what numbers indicate that this is a ‘growth’ industry right now? It may seem like a ‘low risk’ play in terms of financial output, but what’s the end game here?

For old-school wrestling fans, this business idea conjures up bad memories of what Vince McMahon tried to do nearly 20 years ago. However, for as easily as one can dismiss this new business idea by UFC management… I have to say that if the risk assessment is accurate and costs can be kept low, then they may have a shot of making some money with it. I’m not sure how much they can make, but it does open some new doors for them and allows them to be able to go to sponsors like BSN and say look, not only do we have PPV events and Spike TV shows (fights and TUF) that you can sponsor, but we also have our own brand of gyms that people go to. The average American thinks UFC and equates it to fitness, to toughness, so you can market your product with us on many different platforms.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 57 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

57 Responses to “Dana White and UFC want to pump you up and take over the fitness industry…”

  1. Jim Allcorn says:

    Really, three years?

    That seems like a long time to me.
    I was thinking more along the lines of a year. Tops. But, then again, I suppose it all comes down to how long Zuffa’s contract with Versus is for.

    Any clue about that?

    Otherwise we’re on the same page.
    I fully expect Dana & the boys to incorporate the WEC’s 145 lb & 135 lb classes into the UFC.
    125? I don’t know.
    It would make for an even 8 weight classes for them with eight belts, but who knows how the powers that be feel about fighters that small.

  2. EJ says:

    Zero ratings progress as opposed to what?, they get some of Versus best ratings whenever they put on a WEC event. They went from being little heard of lower weight org to the second best MMA org in the world. They have stacked division at FW and BW along with a star like Urijah Faber. They are a hardcore fans dream because they put on great fights with high ranked fighters for free. Overall considering what they were to where they are now they’ve grown alot. With Zuffa’s backing they will continue to expand eventually making it to PPV and becoming the home of the best lower weight fighters in the world. As usual people seem to put what they want into Zuffa’s plan instead of sitting back and watching things unfold. If there is one thing everyone should know about the UFC is that they know what they are doing their trackrecord speaks for themselves.

  3. Fluyid says:

    Hey, Affliction may be done. Maybe the UFC can just do whatever it wants.

  4. Jeremy says:

    Zuffa recently signed a new deal with Versus for a fair amount more than the first contract.

    They are also part of the Bud and HD sponsorship deals.

    I don’t think the WEC is making tons of money, but they are not losing any.

  5. Jeremy says:

    Here is another site making a similar comment, with a quote from Tom.

  6. Ivan Trembow says:

    lol at Zuffa breaking the news of Affliction MMA’s death while hiding behind a psuedonym on Bloody Elbow. Anyone who has read Bloody Elbow’s comments section long enough knows that the poster called “mmalogic” works for Zuffa and is not even particularly good at hiding it.

    Example: In the comments section of a post from a few months back, “mmalogic” wrote this: “Zuffa adjusted their sponsorship model from creating OUR own sponsors” (capitalization added by me).

    When another user pointed out what “mmalogic” just said and asked if he’s Joe Silva or someone else like that, “mmalogic” responded with this non-denial and followed it with flattery towards his accuser: “I won’t say who I am but I will say who you are judging by your past comments and analysis … You either own your own business, have owned your own business or very high up in a business either in Marketing or Sales… Did I call it?”

    When the original accuser responded by saying that he just graduated with a degree in marketing and finance, “mmalogic” responded with more flattery: “You got the head for it… try to hook up with a good consulting firm – you will do well.”

    In this case, it’s easy to see how high-level executives at Zuffa would know so much about Affliction MMA’s pending demise, particularly if Affliction has contacted Zuffa to work out a peace deal. So, what do they do? They make a post about it under their “mmalogic” psuedonym to give themselves more leverage in the negotiations for the aforementioned peace deal (Affliction has even less leverage in negotiations if everyone is already reading about how little leverage they have and how their MMA branch is about to go out of business anyway).

    A lot of people think that the UFC doesn’t care about blogs, but they must realize what kind of influence a very popular blog like Bloody Elbow has, based on the fact that they (Zuffa) are willing to take the time and effort to try to spread information and influence opinions by making posts under psuedonyms like “mmalogic.”

    By the way, the URL of the aforementioned post (which contains the slip-up by “mmalogic” near the end) is:

    lol, even putting aside how blatant it is in his comments, look at the previous FanPost blog entries by “mmalogic” (

    Aoki not a top five fighter (in January 2009), EliteXC ratings are below CBS’ expectations and now ProElite people are looking for work, HBO is unhappy with the Affliction/Golden Boy partnership, Randy Couture to Headline UFC 91 (before it was widely reported), and a post about why Zuffa has no reason to co-promote with anyone. Like I said, not very subtle. I’m guessing they will try to be more subtle when posting under psuedonyms in the future.


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