("Actually, I think I’ll pass on the UFC. I was offered a movie role that could make me the next Jean Claude Van Damme.")
If you haven’t heard about the PRIDE: Secret Files book published by the Japanese MMA and wrestling magazine, Kamipro, you really need to look that shit up, son.
In a nutshell, the book reveals "30 sealed plans" that never came to fruition for the FEG-era owned organization, which, had they happened could have changed MMA as we know it.
Think of it like "The Butterfly Effect" except instead of Ashton Kutcher, the lead in the movie is Nobuyuki Sakakibara
The book was released in December in Japanese and has since been translated into English by an independent source who is hawking his version online for a nominal donation.
Some of the subjects of the tome include:
• The true ambitions of Lorenzo Fertitta when he bought PRIDE
• DREAM was born from the PRIDE LW GP that was supposed to happen in 2008
• PRIDE 1 was supposed to feature Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Renzo Gracie
• The other side of why Royce Gracie vs Mark Kerr never happened
• A planned PRIDE reality show that fell through
• Evander Holyfield was in talks to fight for the promotion
• "PRIDE Bushido" was originally named “PRIDE Survival”
• PRIDE’s Lightweight division was born from a life or death crisis of PRIDE Bushido
• Mike Tyson was in talks to face Cro Cop, Fedor, and Big Nog
• GSP and Kimbo were close to being signed by PRIDE
• A PRIDE revival that was secretly being planned
12 Jan 2010 07:37:19 AM
Following up reports last week of Zuffa selling a chunk of the UFC to Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UFC has publicly released some information on the sale. First, the official statement via UFC.com:
Las Vegas, NV (USA) — UFC today announced that the organization Flash Entertainment
, a leading live events company based in the United Arab Emirates, has acquired a ten percent stake in Zuffa, LLC, d/b/a Ultimate Fighting Championship.
UFC owners Lorenzo J. Fertitta, Frank Fertitta III and Dana White stated that they are pleased to have this partnership in place and are honored to be associated with Flash. The Fertitta brothers and White agree that this investment brings exceptional strategic value, expertise and global opportunities to the UFC brand.
“Over the past few years, we have built a relationship with all levels of the Flash organization. They share our vision, passion, and enthusiasm for the UFC,” said Lorenzo J. Fertitta, UFC Chairman and CEO. “We are confident that this partnership will accelerate the worldwide growth of the UFC.”
Ossama Khoreibi, Chairman of Flash Entertainment, commented, “Since our very first meeting, we were impressed by Lorenzo, Frank and Dana’s commitment to growing UFC as a global sport.” He continued, “Flash is equally committed to building Abu Dhabi’s profile as an international entertainment destination, and this partnership provides further proof of our company’s bold ambitions. We look forward to an exciting future ahead, working closely with our UFC partners to activate this sport in the UAE, the region and across the world.”…
Formed in Abu Dhabi in August 2008, Flash Entertainment is the region’s leading events consultancy, with a proven track record in delivering world-class events from movie premieres and classical shows to international tennis tournaments and megastar music concerts. Flash is made up of a team of industry professionals, offering comprehensive event management solutions from concept design and strategic planning, through to implementation, management and evaluation.
Dana White followed up the announcement with a Q&A on UFC.com to put it all into layman’s terms for the fans. Some highlights:
19 Nov 2008 21:28:22 PM
(Guess who’s back?)
Well that didn’t take long. Jon Fitch is once again a UFC fighter, and will still fight Akihiro Gono at UFC 94, as planned. Apparently all it took was a conversation with Lorenzo Fertitta. MMA Rated has the scoop:
“Communication kind of broke down with Dana (White) so we talked with Lorenzo,” Fitch told MMARated. “(I) just got off the phone with him and we came to an agreement. We’re going to move ahead and I’ll be back in the UFC. We’re going to sign off on the video game and I’m back. It was never even about the agreement or the contract. It was the approach that we felt Dana was being a little bit hot-headed and was threatening us right off the bat. It didn’t seem like a professional way of doing things.”
Cooler heads, as they say, have prevailed. Should the ease with which this was resolved once Fitch and his management team were able to speak with someone who wasn’t Dana White perhaps tell us something? Threatening, bullying, saying things in the media such as “[Expletive] them. All of them, every last [expletive] one of them,” maybe that’s the kind of thing that doesn’t help negotiations with one’s employees, who one claims to want to be “partners” with. Thankfully Lorenzo Fertitta is on board to smooth things over.
Now you have to wonder, what lesson will Dana White take from this? Fitch did sign the contract. The UFC got what they wanted. Will White now be convinced that he can get what he wants if he plays good cop, bad cop with Lorenzo? Or will he see that sometimes talking things over is preferable to flying off the handle? Let’s hope it’s the latter. Right now Lorenzo is looking like Michael Corleone and Dana is looking like Sonny. And we all remember what happened to Sonny.
22 Oct 2008 13:10:21 PM
(“Can we take that one over again? Andrei blinked and Rothwell wandered into the shot.” Photo courtesy of CageToday.)
MMA Weekly reports that UFC and Affliction executives met late last month to build a formal partnership that would allow Affliction to return to the UFC as a major clothing sponsor and work with the UFC to create co-branded apparel. In exchange, Affliction would agree to cease operations as a fight promotion and allow the UFC to buy out several of their fighter contracts. Unfortunately, the détente began to fall apart after EliteXC’s “Heat” show on October 4th, when Affliction’s ads plugging Fedor’s next fight made UFC executives feel that the deal wasn’t being taken seriously.
On Monday, a conference call was held between UFC and Affliction execs in an attempt to resurrect the partnership. Details are sketchy, though MMA Weekly reports that the call quickly turned hostile, with Affliction co-founder Todd Beard at one point telling Lorenzo Fertitta “you’ve fucked with the wrong guy.” So for now, it looks like Affliction is still shut out of the Octagon, and will continue to burn money as a fight promoter. Their next event, headlined by Fedor Emelianenko vs. Andrei Arlovski and co-promoted by Golden Boy, goes down January 24th at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
29 Sep 2008 14:50:43 PM
(Props: MMA Scraps)
It’s kind of creepy to hear Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta say almost exactly the same thing when asked by Fox News how the economic meltdown will affect their business. It’s as if they’re reading off the same cue cards. Clearly, this is a conversation they’ve had before, and most likely pretty recently as they’ve tried to figure out whether a piss-poor economy means they should cash in their chips and start hording gasoline and ammunition in the Nevada desert somewhere.
When it comes to pay-per-view buys, their logic holds up. You get six or seven guys together to split the cost of a UFC pay-per-view and it’s cheaper than going to a movie. Live ticket sales might be another matter, but big shows like UFC 91 in Las Vegas will still sell out, especially when they can count on the casinos to snatch up the ridiculously-priced tickets at Octagon-side.
MMA Payout recently broke down Lorenzo Fertitta’s claim the UFC has seen a “double-digit increase” in pay-per-views buys this year. Turns out it’s true, but just barely. 10.8% growth is technically double-digits, even if most of it is a result of holding two pay-per-view events in the UK in 2008, as opposed to just one in 2007. Domestic pay-per-view growth was at a meager 3.3%, but that’s still not cause for panic.
As we’ve discussed before, for some reason pro fighting is one of the sports that typically does well during hard economic times. Ballet, on the other hand, straight up tanks when the going gets tough. That’s right. Fuck you, ballet.
17 Jun 2008 19:19:50 PM
(Lorenzo Fertitta, second from the right.)
UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta, who made $113.8 million last year as president of Station Casinos is resigning from his position in the family business in order to work full-time to expand the UFC, develop the brand internationally, and secure more big-name sponsors. He and Dana White will now be “co-heads” of the company; Lorenzo’s brother Frank Fertitta III will become Station Casinos’ CEO while retaining his 45% ownership in the UFC.
White and L. Fertitta made the announcement to their employees today at Palace Station (a Station Casinos property), and the news broke via Yahoo!’s Kevin Iole, who acknowledged that Dana White’s “long-awaited announcement, which had many in the industry in a lather speculating about what it might be, may turn out to be ho-hum news to the sport’s hard-core fans.” Said Lorenzo Fertitta:
“The problem, if there is a problem, is that the business has gotten so successful, it’s requiring more time, focus and attention. 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…
Think about this for a second: India has 350 million men between the ages of 18 and 34, and that’s our key demographic. The magnitude of these markets is staggering…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.”
2 Jan 2008 17:04:04 PM
Much of the mystique of UFC co-owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta stems from the fact that we don’t see them cursing and making outlandish statements every day like their president and public face. Not that Lorenzo Fertitta’s statements are any less outlandish, but when he shows up to the occasional press conference or does the rare interview, we tend to pay a little more attention; clearly, the man has decided to speak because he has something important to say. In this interview with Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports, Lorenzo — ranked 380th on Forbes Magazine’s most recent list of the 400 richest Americans, with an estimated fortune of $1.3 billion — discusses the state of the UFC’s business and whether Dana White ever embarrasses him with his big mouth. We’ve gone and excerpted the best parts below.
On MMA being the country’s “fastest growing sport”: “A lot of people talk about the growth of MMA. I don’t believe in that. I don’t know where anybody can show me there is this great success in MMA outside of the UFC. There has been explosive growth for the UFC, but MMA in general, nobody is making a breakthrough. The biggest non-UFC pay-per-view, you might know better than me, but it’s something like 25,000, maybe 30,000 buys. There is a bit of a misnomer there. It’s not the growth of MMA. It’s the growth of the UFC.”
29 Oct 2007 16:24:41 PM
Today at 1 p.m. PT, UFC prez Dana White and UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta will hold a press conference to address recent statements made by Randy Couture and answer questions for the media. MMAjunkie.com reports that UFC’s chief financial officer John Mulkey will also participate in the press conference, hopefully to illuminate some of the mystery behind the UFC’s signing bonuses, “locker-room bonuses,” and pay-per-view percentages. The press conference will be streamed live on UFC.com; stay tuned for wild liveblogging action, which will hopefully run a lot smoother than last time.