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Video: ESPN:60 Set to Examine Whether or Not Zuffa Has an MMA Monopoly

(Video courtesy of YouTube/ESPN)

Remember three years ago when ESPN did this gushing segment on UFC president Dana White. Well, it looks like the UFC signing a major broadcast deal with its biggest rival and cherry-picking some of its on-air talent has irked the sports news giant and the gloves are coming off.

An upcoming episode of ESPN:60, which will feature interviews with UFC chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and Ken Shamrock, who recently lost a lawsuit to the UFC, will examine whether or not critics are correct in calling Zuffa’s stranglehold on the MMA market “a monopoly.”

Translation: ESPN can likely kiss its UFC credentials goodbye. Trust us guys, you’re fucked.

Check out a clip from the soon-to-be-released segment after the jump.

(Video courtesy of YouTube/ESPN)

If we didn’t know any better, we might say this is ESPN being journalists first and worrying about it’s UFC credentials last, but it’s clear that they have an axe to grind with Dana White and company and it seems that they are unconcerned with the ramifications.

It’s a tough spot to be in, but there are plenty of outlets who have done pretty well covering the sport and the UFC without the luxury of a free cageside seat and a backstage pass. It will be interesting to see what kind of countermove Zuffa reacts with.

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Newetuah- January 13, 2012 at 4:01 pm
I watch the ultimate fighter and some UFC fights. I do see alot of psychological manipulation from UFC supervisors and coaches, which makes the fighters serve as human cock fighters, often fighting with injuries to avoid getting shit and being judged as having no heart. and I am only involved from a online observer perspective.

This has come up before, where even some of the most successful UFC fighters have spoken out some on UFC politics, as well as others, and Dana handles it with his usual, "I am in a fight and have to win" mentality.

As much as they supposedly want to prove otherwise, they do come off as thugs.
Dagnut- January 13, 2012 at 4:19 am
@ XENOPHON that's a great rant against ESPN but you are completely forgetting about the subject matter, You just assume they are attacking Zuffa...I couldn't give a fiddlers wank about ESPN but why is everyone ignoring the subject matter? The monopoly?
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XENOPHON- January 12, 2012 at 9:22 am
Your point is well taken. Let me explain. None of the guys in that video started ESPN, and they are not the coFounders. Another way to look at it is they have zero control, and earn no share profit- expect that which they are allowed to have in their share option plan - its peanuts. Instead, they each earn their pay, and have a job because another man started the network - they are mere employees. Problem is they are losing market share for the people who started ESPN, yet they front like they are control - which they never will be. Even a CEO (brought in like Dana was with his small 10% say) is trumped by what the founders want to do.
These ESPN guys simply suck, just as bad as their JC Penny suits. Why do I take this position? Because they are not good business men, they missed the fact that men enjoy MMA. Now after 10 years the same finally see they don't have what it takes to stay on top. It was their job to compete, yet they got bested by a couple of mob bosses rich kids (Fertittas) and a yoga instructor with less than a high school education (White) and only $2 million dollars of seed money (venture capital.)
As I see it ESPN fucked themselves 10 years ago. Fox is now capitalizing in a big way - and laughing all the way to the bank, as is Showtime, and PPV, (or Viacom with Bellator)...along with Spike, Fuel, and all the others who carry the Zuffa holdings. Between the smattering of companies that broadcast UFC, Zuffa can now snub their nose at the godlike ESPN.
For as much as I dislike the phony ass Dana White...he gets much credit for being miserly, greedy, self centered. You may think nothing of the people who dealt with him in the past like Tito, Miletich, and Shamrock a vindictive businessman - but the fact is White fucked them - I really don't care.
For today's history lesson, Dana White has close to the traits that Machiavelli wrote about for rulers, princes, and staying in power. White understands power, the ESPN employees no nothing of it - they are 2nd rate labor and ought to be fired and sent walking. Like the Android disrupted Blackberry, MMA has been disruptive to "SportsCenter."
In the case of ESPN (from Wikipedia) , it was Founded by Bill Rasmussen, his son Scott Rasmussen and Aetna insurance agent Ed Eagan, it launched on September 7, 1979, under the direction of Chet Simmons, the network's President and CEO (and later the United States Football League's first commissioner).
The Getty Oil Company provided funding to begin the new venture via executive Stuart Evey. George Bodenheimer is ESPN's current president, a position he has held since November 19, 1998. Since March 2003, Bodenheimer has also headed ABC Sports, which was operationally folded into ESPN in 2006.
Neither of those clowns in that video started a billion dollar company. Explain why they now feel the need to go calling out Zuffa? I have started 2 companies. One went public, the other was kept private. It's not a big deal to me who is in business or who works for others. So please do not try to get me to compare myself with these ESPN guys - they don't own ESPN, and they don't think the same as I would in their shoes.
If you want me to defend myself to the founders at ESPN or Zuffa (the Fertittas) I can do that for you fast. They had it easy. They had millions to throw into their business, I had to bootstrap each of mine companies. Another words I starved for years with no income to get things going. These pukes never experienced that part of being a small businessman - they got their jobs cause they went to better schools than me, they smooze and kiss ass better than me, and they likely came from more money than me.
I am not envious of the them, nor am I threatened by them. I am into an entirely different business, and for entirely different reasons - so you know I am probably much closer too, or have more affinity to the people here than you might suspect. I drink beer or whiskey, not Mimosas.
Oh and I did once show you my businesses, I posted my resume. Combined they had a valuation of $100M. I didn't do that alone, and never put that much money in my personal bank account. So on that note, I am less than 90% of what Zuffa is today, and Zuffa is less than 90% of what Microsoft is. Make sense, and I am not a braggart, and my parents didn't raise a fool.

These ESPN guys are 1-2 years late for now publically crying monopoly, and are both clowns and "...complete morons!" GRIN The moment Viacom signed up Bellator, the monopoly accuatations evaporated. You know it, I know it, and even Karma knows it.
So throw me some hate....
Jason Moles- January 12, 2012 at 4:55 am
When will this episode air?
Dagnut- January 12, 2012 at 4:29 am
Go back to when Zuffa bought strikeforce and I raised the exact same debate about Dana White.."he's the reason MMA is as big as it is" like fuck he is..he didn't even want to do the ultimate fighter...he has driven the sport its true and attached the type of douche-bag who actually supports this megalomaniac. Why do we even need to see his face any more?
smellypiratehooker- January 11, 2012 at 11:07 pm
@ Xeno
and stop that grinning. Your getting way too much pleasure fucking with people.
smellypiratehooker- January 11, 2012 at 11:02 pm
As much as I think you play an inticral ( I use that loosely ) part here at Cp as "the superVilian", you can't, in good conscience, say that ESPN are "complete morons" until you show me your multi- billion dollar business. Shit, now I've been trolled. Thanks alot, Xeno!
XENOPHON- January 11, 2012 at 10:57 pm

I added that one comment about the dog, based only on the admission that Dana said he split and headed straight to airport on his way to Vegas - after his little shake down story. If it's noted later that he stopped on the way, purchased a FAA approved dog carrier, and got a vet to give his pooch shots and papers I might cut his ass some slack.
Absent that, my best guess is Dana bolted with money he owed the mob and drop that fucking dog off (minus his last 2 months rent monies he owed her ass too) at his mothers house while on the way to the airport. Might explain why she is still pissed off at him years later. GRIN
Get Off Me- January 11, 2012 at 7:52 pm
8-9 friends on average watching with UFC acheiving 1 million buys is more like 8-9 million viewers than 11 million viewers.
Dana is alright, but he needs to change more rules in the sport and he needs to stop the yayo before he interviews.
I think Mendes/Aldo will underline how much work needs to be done with the sport.
Underline Message from E:60 "Fuck you Dana you southy Mick fuck for not dropping your pants for ESPN"
intercept440- January 11, 2012 at 6:51 pm
i wouldnt run from the mob....but then again i live in nevada where your allowed to carry guns and shit like that. in MA. almost everything seems to be illegal. ide have left my dog as well....except @xeno the sotry never said he left his dog.. he left boston.
myself and my Oldschool CPer's dont give a fuck about what fox does, or espn.
were just here to watch people get punched in the face, and spew our comedic drivel on our favortie site,while awaiting the next big fight..
and sometimes to toss out a random comment that offends people..
am i right???? i mean am i right???
Rocky Blunt- January 11, 2012 at 6:23 pm
i guess the nfl has a monopoly on football too
XENOPHON- January 11, 2012 at 5:22 pm
You are right. UFC is sitting fine. Matter of fact they are already shorthanded of (top tier) players and can't really be stretched much more for airtime.
Plus, players in all other sports are seemingly groomed for the camera over 4 years in high school, 4 years in college, and in some cases playing on a farm league before getting called upstairs.
In the UFC's case, a great deal of their talent these days is off the streets after just a few fights, and gets their fame off a show that runs for 8-10 episodes - shorter than the NFL football season.
I mean if Karma would have been accepted to the TUF tryouts and he didn't run like Starnes, or raise his hand to go home like Captain America....
....and he actually won his first 4-6 fights (3 fights a year for only two years in a row) he could in theory be given a title shot. Forrest did it in 8 fights, although he had 2 loses, Rashad also did it in 8 fights, with 1 draw. The list of names could on and on.
The point is, MMA can find talent fast, and the talent is cheap. Now that MMA is a billion dollar industry ESPN has taken notice. If their ratings slide, big sponsors renegotiate what they will pay ESPN.
The saddest part of the videos above is that the men who run ESPN at their round table seem like complete morons... all of them - detached from the common man found here. Go back and watch it again, all of them in suits and ties...compared to a loud "T" Shirt and cargo shorts. And I would bet they don't drink a can of beer, but instead a Mimosa.
Except for a Superbowl or the last game in a World Series...I haven't wasted my time watching mainstream sports in many years. If given the choice of that snake Dana White vs. the corporate clowns at ESPN are serving, I'd much rather watch whatever Dana White brings to the table any day.
I am glad to hear Dana say outright, "...maybe MMA is not ready for prime time." In the context it was said, I got the impression he was really saying "FUCK YOU ESPN, I created a niche, and I am counting the money all the way to the Bank of Boston."
What Dana White really conveyed is simply "Fuck the Establishment."
ccman- January 11, 2012 at 4:41 pm
ESPN did the same thing to the NHL, they actually grew with out ESPN.
@xenophobic, your anti UFC stance and dislike for DW pretty much make all your manifesto rants worthless. DW isn't going anywhere. For every yahoo ranting about this there are 10 who appreciate what he has done. And if you want to discuss disparity in pay scales, look at boxing. It's 50x worse.
El Guapo- January 11, 2012 at 3:36 pm
^^Not that there's anything wro... Nevermind.
What I meant was, aside from flipping through Lake Show or Lob City games-West Coast in the motha'truckin house baaabay!-on Fox Sports West and one football game a week on regular Fox, I spend(waste?)a hell of a lot more time on ESPN channels. That's just me(no offense to Rexy, who loves himself some "Glee" or God's gift to CP, who got his extensive expertise in crime fighting by watching each episode of "America's Most Wanted" twenty times), but still.
RaginAsian- January 11, 2012 at 3:19 pm
@El Guapo - ESPN might be bigger but the UFC doesn't need their coverage now anymore than it did ~3 years ago when they never talked about fight results. Especially with the Fox deal.
El Guapo- January 11, 2012 at 3:17 pm
Fox is like ESPN's red headed stepcousin. Sure, they're good for The Simpsons re-runs but not much else unless you're in high school and/or homosexual.
KarmaAteMyCat- January 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm
No They don't they have fox..
El Guapo- January 11, 2012 at 2:39 pm
Zuffa's big, but not EPSN big. They need "The Worldwide Leader in Sports" to cover them if they want to keep getting bigger. I doubt the UFC yanks their credentials, lest no Sportscenter segments.
The12ozCurls- January 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm
Is it just me, or is that XENOPHON chick very defensive and possibly schizophrenic?
Probably just me. No offense intended.
HandsofGold- January 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm

If you can't re-read what you wrote then there is no reason for me to try and explain this to you. It would be a waste of my time and your's.

@Cronk well said man well said
XENOPHON- January 11, 2012 at 1:16 pm
hahah Thats the nicest thing I've heard around here in a long time. I may just have to change my ways. EVIL GRIN
What was so dumb about what I wrote?
myklhoey- January 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm
Translation: ESPN can likely kiss its UFC credentials goodbye. Trust us guys, you’re #$^%#.
LOL thats to funny, ya ufc deff holds a grudge.
HandsofGold- January 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm

I kept it as brief as possible for you, after seeing all the dumbass shit you wrote i figured i better keep is simple stupid for you.

;) Enjoy your day sweetie.
The12ozCurls- January 11, 2012 at 1:09 pm
This is way too serious.
Lets talk about Cyborgs face looking like a catchers mit.