Dana White has strung MMA fans along for a couple of weeks with talk of a major announcement. Today the announcement was revealed. Kevin Iole is reporting that Lorenzo Fertitta, part owner of the UFC, will resign from his position as President of Station Casinos in Las Vegas to devote all of his time to working with the UFC.
Fertitta told Iole that the move was required due to the UFC’s enormous groth and potential.
“The problem, if there is a problem, is that the business has gotten so successful, it’s requiring more time, focus and attention,” Fertitta said. “Station Casinos is a business my family and I have built and now it’s a multi-billion dollar company. But the reality is, the UFC has gone through so much growth in the last eight years, my brother and I felt we’d be better in divide and conquer mode. He’ll stay at Station Casinos and take care of that and I’ll come over here and work on the issues involving the UFC.”
The Fertitta’s will still share ownership of the company but Frank Fertitta will now operate the family Casino business solo as Lorenzo heads up the UFC’s global expansion.
“Think about this for a second: India has 350 million men between the ages of 18 and 34, and that’s our key demographic,” Fertitta told Iole. “The magnitude of these markets is staggering. Dana has been doing a phenomenal job with this company, and I’ve been doing what I could given my responsibilities (at Station Casinos). The UFC is going to have a global footprint in the not-too-distant future. We’re already working on furthering our position in Brazil. This is getting so big that it demanded I spend more time with it.”
Dana White acknoledges that fans may be let down by the announcement but feels that the potential of the UFC with Fertitta coming on full time will catapult the company to new hights.
“I think the potential for the UFC within the next five years globally is that it is going to be bigger than the NFL, bigger than Major League Baseball. As huge as the NFL is here, they don’t give a (expletive) about the NFL in Europe. But fighting transcends continents. Everybody on every continent understands a fight.”
“The Internet may not consider this huge news, but what the people on the Internet think is huge and what I think is huge are two different things. But you know what? I think I have a pretty good track record. I think this is maybe the biggest day in UFC history. I’m so excited, I can’t begin to explain it to you. This is an historic day for me and this company.”