UFC and MMA

Is the UFC changing its business model into a government contractor?


The recent UFC 291 PPV event in Salt Lake City, Utah, concluded a worthwhile effort by Endeavor management over the years to completely reinvent the old way of doing business. Why spend your own money on the show when you can use someone else’s cash?

UFC President Dana White speaks at a rally for Donald Trump.
UFC President Dana White speaks at a rally for Donald Trump – Julien Deroeux IMAGO/The Photo Access

You wouldn’t think that Utah is the first place that comes to mind when it comes to combat sports. In addition to high-level training for fighters What is the selling point?

Not much for a normal fight.

For the sake of politics and big business?

Utah is the perfect marriage of big business and big government.

It is home to the Republican Country Club and major credit card companies. The rich come to Park City in large numbers each year.

Big business and big technology are quickly marrying for the projects of the future. Including technology company Cosm researching and developing 8k cinema technology to watch UFC events without headsets.

as an added bonus Utah is adjacent to Nevada. It’s easy for UFC executives to travel back and forth on business matters.


The UFC is now a political company. First and foremost


Under Endeavor’s leadership, the UFC wasn’t just a sport venue. It is an entertainment company that has recently taken on intense political action with a cultural cache.

The company’s underlying philosophy is shifting to a government contractor business model similar to Raytheon or Pfizer. A recent Salt Lake Tribune article outlined the financial guarantees and support Endeavor required to bring UFC 291 to Utah.

It’s a taxpayer guarantee you’re familiar with with the major pharmaceutical and insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act. Congress used the term “Risk Corridor”, different name, same game

The UFC may not sell ammunition or drugs. But they’re selling popular items of huge value.

UFC events are places to see and be seen.

The same principles that drive the UFC to new contracts are no different to the psychology that PRIDE used in their prime work to attract celebrities and influencers during their heyday. Ari Emanuel knows how to create an entertainment magnet.

But why states and countries It was therefore decided to agree to pay for UFC events.

What the fight business doesn’t have is the high frequency of convincing the government to buy the show and charge it.

So why now? The answer is simple – the UFC is now a political company. First and foremost

To increase profits, reduce risk, and prevent a recession, Endeavor sees local municipalities and states as hungry moguls who won’t stop paying for their content.

Governments large and small have calculated that there is no resistance to taxpayer cash payments to be presented to the public. It’s a nice distraction and a spark to pamper the voters. Who can refuse Santa Claus?

Bringing in the government as a business partner gives the UFC unlimited potential for new revenue streams. At the same time, it supports legal protection under the color of the law.

If the state marries you They’re also less likely to want to upset the apple cart because they’ll lose the money, prestige, and cultural power that the UFC brings to the table.

The more money the UFC makes The more likely it is that the UFC will help raise awareness and money for back-scratching political leaders. If there is any scandal Arising from major UFC events, having the state protect your back is a great way to defuse scandal with a figurative pillow.

All the state’s allies had to do was invoke the glorified phrase, “It’s a slogan.” It is “under investigation” and all avenues for astonishing revelations – other than leaks from disgruntled people – are sealed.

Having the government as your business partner is a great way to dissolve any regulatory opposition. from the Sports Commission that used to have such great power As we mentioned in a recent article about Endeavor’s plans to expand Power Slap in 2024 and beyond. The sports commission faces the devil’s bargain: play ball with the UFC and get an event. Don’t play ball and risk losing. In the end, you as the controller risk losing. yours work.

as specified in BloodyElbow.com The Utah Athletic Commission recently updated its fighter salaries disclosure rules. If fighters want their salaries to be public information They must opt-in to receiving this information primarily.

by creating a system where people have to opt-in The law of inertia often comes into play. Most people are lazy and will not opt ​​in or opt out of anything. Regardless of the default setting for any type of disclosure policy. So it’s likely that people will live with it.

It is a psychological trick you see in famous books such as nudge By Cass Sunstein

Is it in the interests of fighters to disclose their salaries? Most likely, it was not helpful to the fighter.

However, it benefits the UFC if many fighters don’t know what their peers are doing. information is power especially in negotiating labor disputes

Despite a recent legal setback in a Las Vegas courtroom in connection with a massive antitrust lawsuit by a former UFC fighter, Endeavor’s plans to pursue a public-private partnership are under way. with the government quickly

If the UFC loses in court or is forced to change its business practices, Ari Emanuel is positioning his fighting operations to gain legal and financial protection from both the government and stock investors.

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Only the refusal by the Feds to the Reverse Morris Trust’s proposed merger of the UFC and WWE into a TKO can stop the momentum of Endeavor’s efforts to convert their wrestling operations into a government contractor business model. Don’t hold your breath when someone gets in your way.


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about the author

Zack Arnold

Zack Arnold

Zach Arnold first started writing about combat sports in 1996. He is a seasoned professional wrestling and mixed martial arts writer. who has frequently written for both California and Nevada athletic commissions since 2010. His archived writings can be found at Fight Opinion.

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