The UFC has had a stellar year . . . make it a stellar decade. On the brink of extinction in 2000, the UFC has emerged as the dominant brand in MMA. However, UFC President Dana White wants to be dominating more than the MMA space.
“UFC will be the biggest sport in the world by 2020,” White wrote on The Las Vegas Sun.
The UFC was on the verge of folding in 2000, when White along with Station Casinos executives Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta made an offer to purchase the organization. Just one month later, in January 2001, the Fertittas purchased the brand for only $2 million.
“People were saying I was a lunatic 10 years ago when we first got this going, but the stuff we’re working on right now on so many levels is mind-boggling,” White stated.
As we recently noted, G.E., the parent company of NBC, announced earlier this month that they are working on a deal to sell the network to Comcast. Comcast also happens to own the Versus Network, which airs WEC programming and will soon be broadcasting UFC events as well.
“The UFC will be on network television in the coming years, but we’re not going to go out and do a stupid deal because we don’t need them,” he admitted. “We built this thing without help from anybody, and that’s why the UFC has been able to flourish even in these hard times.”
The UFC has already broken the pay-per-view industry’s all-time records for a single year of business generating over $222 million, surpassing WWE and boxing. UFC President Dana White doesn’t plan on stopping there.
“Think about this: Right now in the United States, there is nothing bigger than the NFL,” he wrote. “It is huge. But the NFL has been spending billions of dollars trying to break into other countries and it’s not working. You know why? Because these people in other countries don’t care about American football. They didn’t grow up playing it and they’re not invested in American teams.
“I take two guys and put them in an octagon and they can use any martial art they want — that transcends all culture barriers. Right now we are on some form of television in over 175 countries. We’re all human beings and we all ‘get’ fighting.”
White went on to note about the UFC being sanctioned in Massachusetts and Vancouver, and said that they plan on getting sanctioned in Ontario and New York in 2010. But that’s just the beginning of the UFC’s plans for the ’10s.
“Me and Lorenzo Fertitta will sit down and figure out a game plan for the next 10 years, and we’ll execute it,” he stated. “So, is 10 years enough time to make this the biggest sport in the world? Hell, yeah.”