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Your “UFC sells out to the Middle East” hyperbolic news post

By Zach Arnold | January 11, 2010

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Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 31 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

31 Responses to “Your “UFC sells out to the Middle East” hyperbolic news post”

  1. Alan Conceicao says:

    Can’t beat free money.

  2. Fluyid says:

    “Can’t beat free money.”

    – Dream Stage Entertainment

  3. Alan Conceicao says:

    Absolutely right! Man, that went wrong, didn’t it? At least this time someone’s giving them a bunch of money rather than the other way around.

  4. Mark says:

    Interesting that they went from saying in November they weren’t interested in selling any part of the company (in regards to Shane McMahon rumors) to this surprising sale. I don’t think this will amount to anything noticeable, Flash Entertainment just wanted an incentive to get them into China, India, Russia, Korea, ect.

  5. Fluyid says:

    For sure.

    On a different note, I think the next two years are going to be really interesting to see where the UFC is going. I want to mark where they are right now and then look back here in two years and compare.

  6. Grape Knee High says:

    I wonder how it will take for the inevitable “The Fertittas think Zuffa is going down because otherwise they would be sinking every penny that have into the UFC!” comments.

  7. Alan Conceicao says:

    I think its the classic example of a Zuffa Mega-story where the story is all speculation, like the Lorenzo Fertitta EPIC~ of two years ago or so was. There’s been so many supposed turning point moments that the sport must have done about 3 full rotations by now.

  8. Fluyid says:

    GKH, the Eddie Goldmans of the world are taking a different approach and speculating whether this is the beginning of the end for Dana White.

  9. Mark says:

    I think this is way beyond Lorenzo coming in and not doing much of anything differently. They’ve been preaching international expansion for years without realistically having the means to do so beyond hopes and dreams and now they do. So this is going to be the period that determines whether the UFC really will be an international sports institution beyond just Dana saying they are or if they’re doomed to be just an American side-sport forever. Now is the time to stop daydreaming about being bigger than soccer and showing some hopes of growing to that level. And right now they have years of work to do before they’re even considered on boxing’s level internationally. If they’re making this move to be a real contender internationally they can’t just say “hey, we get more consistent numbers on American PPV than boxing so we’re bigger.” They’ve got to show they can do more outside of US/Canada than run in the O2 Arena twice a year.

    And anybody who thinks Dana’s role is reduced just because he doesn’t own as much of a stake is an idiot. The guy would have to go to jail for a serious crime before they’d consider cutting him. I mean, they gave him a job originally he was nowhere near qualified for, waited out his growing pains learning on the job, put up with his BS daily. If that doesn’t mean he has a job for life I don’t know what will. And he can’t complain about it because he knows he’s one of the luckiest people in the world to be in his position. Without Frank and Lorenzo he would never have gotten to be President of any MMA company with just a few years of managing fighters as experience.

  10. Grape Knee High says:

    LOL, the beginning of the end for Dana White? There will always be people willing to believe in foolish things.

    Dana is a bit of a douchebag, but realistically, I see no reason why the Fertittas would ever consider replacing him.

  11. Mark says:

    Now let the speculation begin that claimed Abu Dhabi resident MMALogic really works for Flash Entertainment. You know it’s coming. Maybe he’ll use MSPaint to make us a chart showing how this sale is going to be awesome.

  12. The Gaijin says:

    LOLOL – last I saw he’s busy posting screenshots of “his investment trading portfolio” to prove that he’s NOT ONLY a “biz/industry insider”, business consultant w/ a 6-7 figure retainer, internet website entrepreneur (which is probably the most believable of his claims) but also a statistical modelling/forecasting genius trader who makes huge sums of money in his spare time – so therefore you must not question his MSPaint graphs and babbling.

    Mind you he manages to pull all of these amazing feats off while trolling/posting on an mma message blog at all hours of the day.

  13. How many events has Flash Entertainment run outside of Abu Dhabi?

  14. 45 Huddle says:

    Very few companies worth above $50 Million have one owner. Zuffa having 4 owners is pretty much “who gives a sh!t” on the scale of important stuff. The Fertitta’s now own 80% instead of 90% of the company. Not much will change besides potentially more opportunities internationally…. And even that might be harder to do.

    I do think anytime somebody from the middle east does a business transaction with an American company, that there is always a good percentage of people who are skeptical. I’m not going to say they are racist, but definitly uneducated as to how Middle Eastern countries do business. It’s not all extremists and terrorists over there.

    At the end of the day, this will be more business as usual for the UFC. We likely won’t see any differences as American fans outside of perhaps 1 or 2 events per year from that region.

  15. The Gaijin says:

    Well I must say the “Middle Eastern investors” made some incredibly over-priced/stupid investments in some North American companies (IntraWest Resorts, City Center) during the last boom, but they’re far from alone.

    The one good thing for sure is that they’ve got lots of cash and don’t mind spending it on “luxury” items.

  16. 45 Huddle says:

    And Steve Cofield’s headline is beyond stupid. Dana White is the preside of the company. The presdent of a company is choosen by the majority owners. White’s position has not changed even a smidgen of .001% on the pecking order.

  17. Steve4192 says:


    you need to include this gem in your links for this post

  18. Fluyid says:

    Good ol’ Debbie Schlussel. She used to appear on the Howard Stern show from time to time.

  19. jr says:

    I’d rather the UFC sell a 10 percent share to Flash Entertainment than pimp “Blue Mountain State”

  20. theYiffer says:

    Based on what I’ve seen and read, this is mainly about bringing in cash to make that big global expansion possible. As long as the royal family aren’t allowed to monkey with the product, I don’t care. My other assumption is this deal was also a means of getting UFC into Abu Dhabi, or to use Flash’s assistance to gain a foot-hold into Mid-East/Asian markets. We’ll see if this works out.

    Hey Huddle: Given that we’re still in the midsts of the war on Islamic Terrorism (or “man-made disasters”), people here are rightly skeptically. Mid-Eastern Royal families have lots of money, and use it to play both sides of the fence. They’ll throw money towards promoting the Islamist ideology (building masques that house radical imons, charities that benefit terrorists, programs that indoctrinate school children, etc) Then on the flip-side they’ll spend money on good PR here in the West. That said, people understandably do not want to benefit people who will in turn use their money to harm them. These families often get off the hook due to some sort of excuse: it’s always cousin or some other relative that’s throwing money at these islamist groups; no, that group’s not really radical; oh, we need their oil; etc. So they never get challenged or held to account. This is a problem in my opinion, and eventually needs to be reckoned with. The sad thing is that political correctness helps to hamper our progress towards making Islamic terrorism a back-watered thing of the past. People who view the war on Islamic terrorism through the lens of political correctness have a tendency of insulting people with crap like “uneducated”, and advocate for more passive-life-endangering approach, under the false premiss that the U.S., Israel, and the West as the reason for their existence.

  21. grafdog says:

    Dana has served his purpose. He is just an impediment to ufc growth now, he is too needy and his days are numbered.

    Possible headlines for later this year…

    Dana bites dust! being broomed.

    Dana on the dole?


    Dana dumped.

  22. Steve4192 says:

    “Dana has served his purpose. He is just an impediment to ufc growth now”


    That kind of unbridled lunacy always brightens up my day.


  23. Mark says:


  24. Rob Maysey says:

    Well well well–the outright ridicule I took when I suggested on this board and payout that their handling of the increased debt (paid dividends) suggests that an equity sale may be forthcoming. . .

    Carry on.

  25. 45 Huddle says:

    There is little proof that there is a correlation between the two. So I’m still not sure what you are so proud of.

    The increased debt had to do with The Fertitta’s removing their initial investment from the company along with additional funds (very normal for a private company).

    This transaction had to do with international expansion. There is no proof that they needed the money.

  26. Rob Maysey says:

    Right–little proof of correlation (except for the fact that they admit they were in discussions for months)–and that it actually did happen.

    Other than that–no proof at all, I agree.

  27. spacedog says:

    Actually, Yiffer, I tend to consider those that can’t spell IMAM or MOSQUE uneducated. Political correctness has nothing to do with it.

  28. IceMuncher says:

    If you guys check out Ariel’s latest interview with Dana on Fanhouse, apparently these guys are building the UFC an arena. That’s one heck of a partnership.

  29. The Gaijin says:

    Which is a weird quasi-complete opposite of Fedor/M-1 and Strikeforce. Nice to see the difference in the way some people do their business! (That is a dig at Coker, not Zuffa)

  30. Jonathan Snowden says:

    How is this deal about international expansion? This company knows about expanding to one market: Abu Dhabi. This will be another series of events, like their auto races, tennis matches, and golf tournaments, that play out before next to no paying audience and a few ultra-wealthy weirdos.


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