So in the last couple of weeks it seems that the new owners of the UFC, WME-IMG, has been deadset on cleaning house. It’s that unusual when you think about it. A new boss comes into a role of power and brings with them their own army of trusted employees to hopefully enhanced the newly acquired business. But despite the fact that it may not be overly surprising, the rate and timing in which all these firings are occurring couldn’t have come at a worse time for the company.
After the lay offs at the Canadian UFC office, it occurred that the move may have been ill timed, specifically because of the fact that the promotion has a fight in Toronto in less than two months. It’s a bit wild that WME-IMG would make such a move. Add that to the fact that the UFC is having problems with Georges St-Pierre and you have to wonder just what the hell is going on behind the scenes.
The UFC beefing with GSP is a bit much as well. The man helped to build the company into the popular brand that it is today. The fact that he’s being shafted by new management can put a black eye on the company. GSP is considered one the genuine nice guys of MMA and you can bet people are paying attention to how the former welterweight champion is being treated. It would come as no surprise if GSP left for Bellator MMA because of that fact and, though the promotion doesn’t have the best talent in the world, the fact that another high profile fighter would prefer fighting for the fledgling organization could have ripple effects down the line.
The biggest question is why make enemies when you can play nice and generate more money?
Now it seems that the UK offices are experiencing lay-offs as well. While it can be expected that new management would obviously mean a bit of an overhaul, the UFC is a well oiled machine that has gotten many things right and some wrong over the years. But each of the offices have managed to bring together some of the most memorable fighting events in the last ten plus years. We’ve yet to see WME-IMG’s full plan come to fruition, this is true. But all it takes is one bad decision to ruin a good thing. Let’s hope all of these lay-offs are just and will really bring the promotion to the next level.
What do you think of the new UFC owners’ business decision of late?