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Lorenzo Fertitta fires back at ESPN in video clip

The war between the UFC and sports television giant ESPN looks to be picking up steam following a series of videos released by both organizations.

The first shot was fired when ESPN decided to do a documentary-style piece for investigative news-show Outside The Lines on the monopoly that many believe the UFC is creating in the MMA world. Included was a focus on fighter pay ultimately sending UFC President Dana White and co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta over the edge.

White then claimed he would release the UFC’s own video of the interview process with ESPN and now a clipof Fertitta talking about payments ESPN made to boxers for its Friday Night Fights series has been made public.

“There was a guy who walked away with $275 for a four-round fight (on ESPN),” explained Fertitta to the ESPN reporter interviewing him. “Our fights that we put on cable, we paid 10 times what the fighters (were) paid by ESPN.”

It remains to be seen what kind of coverage ESPN will give the UFC in the future, or if the fight promotion even has any care to be covered by the sports programming giant.

Check out the video of Fertitta below:

  • MickeyC says:

    this could get ugly between these gys. No wonder Dana went ahed and killed MMA live.

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  • Kamakosmo says:

    And who was ESPN able to get, to back up their nonsense of a story? Ken Shamrock!

    No further comment needed

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  • Angry Mike says:

    F**k ESPN. They don’t care about the sport, only about stirring up controversy. This type of hit piece follows the 60 minutes blueprint. Talk to a few malcontents and edit the video in a way that hypes misperceptions, untruths and half truths. They don’t care about the impact of their garbage. They just move on to the next victim. White and Lorenzo were wise to video the whole interview.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    I wish I knew when exactly the media turned into professional trolls.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    Just re-watched this. Man, Lorenzo slaughtered that three-piece suit filled with crap.

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  • Samer Kadi says:

    Actually, while the ESPN piece was very poor on so many levels, this is a laughable argument by Lorenzo. First off, the boxing card he refers to is not a PPV that made a crap load of money. Meaning the revenue was far less than that of a UFC PPV, which in turn means far less money to hand out to the fighters.

    Secondly, the actual promoter of the boxing event in question was not ESPN. ESPN were just broadcasting the event. The promoter is responsible for fighters’ pay. So in reality, he’s comparing two totally different things.

    Funny thing is, the UFC is actually in the right here (even though I would like to see mid-level fighters earn a bit more), as the numbers provided in the ESPN piece were way off, their sources were laughable (Ken Shamrock), and the piece neglected some important facts relative to this case. However, they (the UFC) are unfortunately going about it the wrong way, and did themselves a disservice by giving the piece that much attention. Not that they shouldn’t have responded, mind you.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    I think Lorenzo’s point is valid, although certainly not a direct comparison the UFC. But, seriously, if ESPN is going to beat the “poor underpaid fighter” drum, they could at least do some due diligence and be sure they know what’s happening on their own network.

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