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UFC’s Big Announcement Revealed! Prepare Your Disappointed Face! : (

Lorenzo Fertitta UFC Dana White
(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.”

Added DW:

“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…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.”

Well, he was right about the announcement coming out of left field. While the most prevalent theories about Dana White’s much-hyped “big news” involved the Fertittas cashing out of their investment and selling the UFC, the real story is pretty much the exact opposite — Lorenzo is leaving a nine-figure gig to devote more of himself to the cause. Which is kind of amazing when you think about it. Sure, the fans won’t give a crap, but at least we’ll know to take Dana’s excitement with a grain of salt from now on. Dude gets jazzed up about the most random shit…

Cagepotato Comments

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Daniel- June 22, 2008 at 4:59 pm
Welcome to India .... Dana
KG- June 18, 2008 at 2:43 pm
This is pretty big news... for the EXECUTIVE team of the UFC, or its investors.

For me, or the MMA fan? Not so much. Most fans just watch the PPV's and will not travel to India to watch an event there. What does this do for us? Probably raise the price of PPV's because it may cost them more to produce an event internationally for a while. There is absolutley no mention of a possible network deal, just international shows. Big deal. What does that do for the current US fans? It actually puts us in the backseat because they will be focusing on getting more MMA fans... so they arent going to be working on a network deal for free MMA for us current fans, but finding more ways to get more PPV buys by all of those 350million dollar outsourced tech support guys between 18-34 years old.
MMA-hole- June 18, 2008 at 1:41 pm
@ Math Nazi:

FAIL. This is exactly why the Math Nazis lost the war...
Math Nazi- June 18, 2008 at 1:38 pm
100 mil is eight figure not nine
Funkdizzle- June 18, 2008 at 11:28 am
How many of this target demographic have the necessary 40 dollars to pay for the PPV? or the hundreds of dollars to see it live? China has as young males, more interested in MMA, probably the same problem with the 40 dollars though.
C-Bus Allstar- June 18, 2008 at 11:17 am
shitwhistle- June 18, 2008 at 2:59 am
I agree with the other digit sniffers that said "big news indeed".
Sweet Jesus, Dana really does = Evil genius = Lex Luthor = guy I love to hate and hate to love.

For you instant gratification dumbasses, this means more instant gratification.

By the way, I think I'm pregnant.
HulkSmash- June 18, 2008 at 12:51 am
I agree that this is still big news. Maybe not the kind we thought we were going to get directly pertaining to the sport itself, but big nontheless. Dana has done a great job building the UFC and MMA in general here in the US and only marginally in the UK, but Lorenzo has the skills to really kick it global.

I for one would love to see the UFC in Japan. After the Pride acquisition "fiasco", UFC in Japan would be a great turn around. We already have the fighters they recognize over there and even more home-grown in the US they may not have seen yet.

Side note - Dana White = Lex Luthor made me lol. I imagined Dana yelling "WROOONG" a la Kevin Spacey at one of the Ultimate Fighter contestants.
MKXii- June 18, 2008 at 12:29 am
"UFC just got a major Power-Up. Racoon-tail style."

J.J.- June 18, 2008 at 12:11 am
Are Indian men even remotely interested in MMA? I can just imagine, in two or three years we'll have "UFC 150, Live from the Original Taj Mahal: HINDU HINDOOM!"
Patrick- June 17, 2008 at 8:51 pm
Exporting and outsourcing are two very different things.

I agree with MBuster and Dave, this is a big deal.
You just have to get over the fact that the news wasn't "laser guns added to ring posts".
Dizzle- June 17, 2008 at 8:38 pm
"Think about this for a second: India has 350 million men between the ages of 18 and 34, and that’s our key demographic." even the UFC is going to outsource to India.
Dave- June 17, 2008 at 8:34 pm
I think this is huge news! Dana never said it was anything other than a business move, and this is pretty big.

Everyone gets all excited over the other billionaires that seem to jump into this sport. When Ayre, Trump, and Cuban got into the mix, everyone seemed to be orgasmic with the possibilities now available to MMA. None of them knew anything about the fight game, but we were still happy they wanted a part of it. Now Ayre has already bailed, Cuban has scaled back initial plans for domination, and Trump simply showed up at a photo op for Affliction, and maybe threw a small amount of money their way.

In this case, you have someone who really does know the fight game, has a real passion for MMA, and is willing to put his ungodly amount of money where his mouth is.

Imagine this scenario - a few weeks back at the Affliction news conference, Donald Trump announces he is stepping down from his job as Chairman and CEO of the Trump Organization, leaving Ivanka in charge, so that he can devote all of his efforts towards the MMA business.

That would be a pretty damn big announcement, right? Well, we got pretty much the same announcement right here with Lorenzo Fertitta, and the best the internet can muster is "ho-hum"?

I don't care what anyone says - anytime a billionaire walks away from their empire that made them those billions to pursue something else, we should all pay attention. Lorenzo Fertitta must think MMA and the UFC have the potential to rival his casino business, and he is devoted enough to that end to pursue it fulltime. That is pretty big news!
kablamo- June 17, 2008 at 8:29 pm
lame news
Anonymous- June 17, 2008 at 8:22 pm
Holy shit, he IS lex luthor
gogo-jojo- June 17, 2008 at 8:00 pm
Yea, that is big a business mma junkie kind of way..... but I just can't help noticing Dana's color. Man that guy is pale. He should add some tanning in with that "315" bench powerlifting he's doing, we all know he can afford it .
yellow root ball sav- June 17, 2008 at 7:49 pm
who gives a fuck i knew it would be somethin lame...
skidding- June 17, 2008 at 7:44 pm
- Become bald ...
- Get filthy Rich ...
- Employ muscle-bound, fighting goons ...
- Learn to smirk like a douche ...

All he has to do is find some kryptonite and he's pretty much Lex Luthor.
totaldb- June 17, 2008 at 7:37 pm
oh and also: boring! boring! boring!
BIG CHRIS- June 17, 2008 at 7:35 pm
Ben getting his Ipecac delivered was bigger news than this.....
totaldb- June 17, 2008 at 7:35 pm
I hate to break it to you Dana, but ‘the internet’ lacks the ability to reason...
AJB- June 17, 2008 at 7:31 pm
White didn't lie when he told the media that the announcement would change the MMA landscape. The business connections, savvy, and even resource commitment that comes with Lorenzo talking on an active (albeit behind the scenes) role could/should push the UFC further in front of competition that had been making some gains lately. I imagine a television deal won't be far off now, and if they can start tapping some of the international markets more effectively, their cashflow and market share would be huge enough to allow the UFC to become pretty much THE mixed martial arts league. Well then.
Myles Kilometers- June 17, 2008 at 7:30 pm
mbuster- June 17, 2008 at 7:25 pm
I dunno, seems pretty major to me.
Let a guy like Lorenzo build the business, and let Dana concentrate on being a promoter.
UFC just got a major Power-Up. Racoon-tail style.