Station Casinos is a gaming company based in Las Vegas that consists of Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta as two of its primary owners. The Fertitta brothers are also 90 percent owners of Zuffa, the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Soon after Station Casinos landed on a Yahoo! list of “15 Companies Least Likely to Survive in 2009,” word spread like wildfire that the UFC was in trouble.
During a recent interview with “Carmichael Dave” on the CBS Radio nationally syndicated show “MMAsh,” UFC President Dana White attempted to separate fact from fiction.
“Here’s the big rumor Dana: Station Casinos is filing for bankruptcy and the UFC is going right down with them,” Carmichael Dave asked sarcastically.
“(Laughs) Right. Yup,” White began to respond. “Station Casinos and the UFC have nothing to do with each other. They never have. They’ve always been kept very separate… Right now in Las Vegas (and) all over the world, companies are in trouble right now.
“The problem with Stations is — Stations is making money — they just have too much debt because they just did this buyback. And one thing you have to understand, the Fertittas only own 20 percent of Station Casinos. When they just did this deal to buy back all of the stock, they only owned 20 percent.
“Trust me, don’t worry about the Fertittas being in any soup lines any time soon, okay? They’re doing just fine (and Station Casinos) has nothing to do with the UFC. And all of the people who think the UFC is going to get sold and I’m going to get fired, keep dreaming.”
Despite a major downturn in the economy, the UFC continues to draw strong pay-per-view buyrates and live gates. As White correctly stated, autonomy between Station Casinos and the UFC are non-existent and Station’s financial woes will not have any direct impact on Zuffa’s operations.