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Lorenzo Fertitta’s day-to-day involvement with the UFC a necessity in order for company to reach the next level

People are interpreting today’s announcement that former Station Casinos president Lorenzo Fertitta will be working full-time for the UFC in different ways.

Some see it as a negative; that UFC president Dana White’s act has grown tired and Fertitta’s presence is imperative in order for the company to go to the next level.

Others view the announcement with a more positive spin; that the UFC is growing so much that White needs someone on the executive level who can assume some of his workload in order to ensure greater output.

I see today’s announcement as something in between.

Having someone like Lorenzo Fertitta involved on a day-to-day basis is huge for the future of the UFC. He’s been involved since 2001 as an owner and producer but now he’s in a position to make a much bigger impact.

But to say the primary motive for this decision is based on the growth of the company is not telling the whole story. While this isn’t a demotion for White and he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, Fertitta’s involvement still means that a great deal of White’s power has been usurped. Before this announcement, Dana was the most powerful man in MMA. Now, he’s number two.

To say this move was made because the UFC is growing so fast is a cop out. The UFC has been growing at a fast rate for quite some time and we’re now only see this move made in light of EliteXC becoming the first promotion in MMA to land a primetime network television deal.

My feeling is that White has taken the company as far as he can take it. He’s been the key to the UFC’s growth for so many years but the stakes have changed with so many major media companies now paying attention to the sport. Corporate accountability is finally starting to be added to MMA’s lexicon.

White’s genuine business style was a refreshing change from boxing promoters and it helped attract new fans to the sport. However, what you see with White is often what you really get. There are times when his business acumen might rub people the wrong way (i.e. HBO) and when it comes to business development, you often need a soft touch when trying to woo potential partners. It just so happens that the phrase “soft touch” isn’t in White’s vocabulary.

On the other hand, Lorenzo Fertitta is a man that can be smooth as silk. While White will remain the public face of the company, don’t be surprised if meetings with Madison Avenue media buyers as well as major television networks are reserved for the more polished ways of Fertitta.

34 COMMENTS
  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Did the announcement explain how responsibilities will be divided between the two? That and how they conduct business will prove whether White lost turf.

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  • HexRei says:

    sweet, now the fighters can make even less than they already do (some make like $2000 a fight lol) so that Fertitta can keep his living wage of 115mil/year. And since the UFC is a privately held company they don’t even have to disclose how much he’ll be making, so they could lowball it in the media, or possibly pay him even more! wheee!

    what a douche, who the hell needs that much money…

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  • chris says:

    This is a good thing for the ufc. Dana White can’t continue conducting business the way he has and expect to stay on top. There are too many savvy businessmen with tons of money getting into the game. i.e. Mark Cuban and Donald Trump. These guys already have the relationships that ufc wants and proven business records. If the UFC doesnt make this move with Lorenzo Fertita, then in less than five years they will one of the best MMA promotions, instead of THE mma promotion.

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  • Patrick says:

    I think Dana White will continue to make the UFC grow, I just think that Fertita coming in is more of a “backup” for White, Dana White has been overstretched for a long time and needs some significant help, and some sleep.

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  • LiuLang says:

    HexRei…

    Get out of your parents basement and look at how big businesses are run. Your statement is so ridiculous and off base, I don’t know what else to say :(
    If you don’t think this is good for the sport, you’re an idiot.

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  • Fabricio says:

    HexRei

    you do realize it’s already his money anyway……………………don’t you?

    Lorenzo is not hurting for spending cash…….

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  • HexRei says:

    @#5

    Thank you for taking time out of rimming Lorenze to reply to me! I’m sure he’ll see your post and give you an extra big tip after you swallow tonight’s load. Feel free to explain your position, otherwise STFU like a good manwhore :D

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  • HexRei says:

    @#6

    So you assume he’s going to begin working fulltime for the UFC at no extra charge above what he made as a partial owner? hahahahahahaha! he’s not going to simply live off of $115 mil less per year than he did last year, that I promise you. That money will come from somewhere, and I doubt it will be Dana or Frank’s pockets.

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  • Evan says:

    HexRei…try sherdog to vent yourself.

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  • RealDrew says:

    HexRei, What the hell does it matter to you how much Lorenzo Fertittas is going to make? I get tired of you people going on and on about how little fighters get payed. Get over it. It’s not slave labor. These guys sign on the dotted line and they are fully aware of the risks they are going to take. The UFC has made a lot of people rich.

    If you don’t like how much the Fertittas make then don’t watch the UFC. If you have a moral objection about someone else making money then the smart thing to do would be to stop buying their product.

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  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Hex, buddy, don’t go all JJG on us. It’s lonely where he is.

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  • HexRei says:

    @#9

    Oooh, a sherdog zinger. Come back when you have something to say, troll.

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  • HexRei says:

    @#10 Lol, are you the UFC’s new publicist? Yes, I do think some of that money should go to the fighters. I’ll be glad to be your nemesis on that point.

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  • Mr. Caplan Thank you for being the voice of reason. It’s nice to see sensible analysis in MMA.

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  • HexRei says:

    @#11

    I don’t give a shit about the problems JJG had here previously, I stand by my assertion that the fighters need the money more than Lorenzo. And unless Lorenzo himself is posting here, I definitely wasn’t the first person to start hurling insults, that award goes to the oh-so-uniquely-named “Evan”.

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  • HexRei says:

    Excuse me, Liu Lang. Evan didn’t help though ;)

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  • Evan says:

    HexRei….typically on this blog we can discuss things without that nonsense. Relax.

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  • hexdizzle says:

    Okay I dont really care about how Lorenzo’s “soft touch” can bring more money to the ufc. I just want good fights and less fake hype for all the weak fighters that are going to face the ufc’s top notch like Silva vs. Irwin, what is that all about?

    I mean come on! Its not like the ufc ppv’s are going to get cheaper cause Lorenzo is in control now.
    The only good thing that is coming out of this is better sponsorship for fights which means better pay for fighters as well. As far as I’m concerned Lorenzo can “soft touch” my nuts all night long.

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  • Mike Wolfe says:

    #18

    Dude, there’s a homoerotic quality to your posts on this thread. Are you trying to tell us something?

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  • hexdizzle says:

    #19
    Yeah, I’m saying you and Lorenzo can both soft touch my nuts lovingly all night long.
    Can I get any more clearer for you? Are you game? Dude your so lame, out of all the nonsense that I posted all you were fixated on was the level of my homosexual comment toward Lorenzo? I think your the real closet home, you can
    can come out now. It’s 2008 and we can except your kind now.

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    Guys, enough.

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  • […] Five OuncesLorenzo Fertitta’s day-to-day involvement with the UFC a necessity in order for company to reach t… […]

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  • hexdizzle says:

    okay sorry Cap. I love this site. :)

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  • mattio says:

    On Fight Opinion, they mention that part of a plan to have the UFC be the number one sports org in the world in the next eight years. I hope they can do that. Fighting is such a better sport then football, basketball and baseball. Every time Dana says we have no clue how big this sport is going to get, I believe him.

    I hope they don’t plan on focusing all their energy on far away continents. They really should keep a lot of their focus on growing MMA in America first.

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  • Michaelthebox says:

    I see this as Lorenzo takes over the behind the scenes wheeling and dealing, while Dana focuses on what he’s really fucking good at: MMA marketing and production. Sure, Dana loses a little of the scope of his power, but it enables him to leverage his strengths best. If the UFC grows to what its capable of, Dana will have all the power he wants.

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  • dedstrk says:

    I think it’s a neccsity for the UFC to have both of these guys running the ship. The simple fact is DW isn’t a business man and I think he’s even acknowledged that fact. What he is though is a huge fan of this sport, a character, a polarizing figure, and when it comes down to it he knows what will make this sport grow. What he lacks is the business accumen and, as you said, the “soft touch”, and instincts of a business man. He would get lost trying to make this sport global. We don’t have to worry about that now with Lorenzo taking over the reins. DW will still be the hype man and handle a lot of the stuff in the U.S. in my opinion and even a lot of the fighters contracts. Lorenzo will take care of getting a network deal, going global, most of the merchandising, and will be able to step in and nip DW’s attitude in the bud before he goes off making rude comments about Fedor and before he goes off having feuds with fighters like Ortiz. Lorenzo can be the man to keep DW in check. And I view this as a huge announcement. It’s onward and upward from here. No more knee-jerk reactions to things by DW. It’s a great day for the UFC and when it’s good for the UFC it will only open more doors for the competition.

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  • JoHn says:

    WOW, YOU GUYS ARE INSANE TODAY

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  • Kelly C says:

    I agree with your assertion that Dana has taken the company as far as he can. When I interviewed him for my book (Title Shot) I got the impression he lacked a vision for the future beyond full arenas. He even said to me, “how much bigger can this thing get?”

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  • Autoguy says:

    Sam Craplan you are by far the bigest idiot in mma

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  • DPK says:

    Lorenzo has a real vision for the Globalization of the sport. He wants the fighters to be the highest paid athletes in the world, not just while they fight but also while they sit on their couch and get paid royalties from merchandising deals. This is great for the UFC, and MMA. A proven businessman in charge of the number one MMA product, with the goal of world wide expansion.

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  • j-rock says:

    I think Dana thinks he is Vince, and Lorenzo is just letting him know who is boss period! If you dont think this is true, check out the cheezy picture of Dana and Lorenzo hugging on the front of UFC.com! Always a UFC fan, but love competition!!!!

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  • […] From Five Ounces: White’s genuine business style was a refreshing change from boxing promoters and it helped attract new fans to the sport. However, what you see with White is often what you really get. There are times when his business acumen might rub people the wrong way (i.e. HBO) and when it comes to business development, you often need a soft touch when trying to woo potential partners. It just so happens that the phrase “soft touch” isn’t in White’s vocabulary. […]

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  • […] something from Sam Caplan that says what I meant in a more nuanced […]

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  • j-rock says:

    LOL!! I still cant get over Dana’s comment on TUF the other night, “this is my town”. Is he kidding. He is a gangster now? LOL

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