Proving the belief that if you want to make an omelet, you gotta break a couple million eggs, Lorenzo Fertitta gave full disclosure as to exactly what the UFC’s monumental debut on Fox would be costing Zuffa in a recent interview with Sports Business Journal:
When we were on Spike TV, that was a launching pad. We look at Fox as a bigger and better platform that could elevate the brand. We’re flat out going to lose money on this fight. But that’s the investment we’re making. Those are the steps we’ve got to take to make Cain and Junior pay-per-view stars and lift up the whole thing. Maybe we think a little funny here, but that’s well worth forgoing $16 million. Take that out over the next 10 years and we get a healthy return.
Now, though it may seem like pocket change to Zuffa, Dana White has stated that he is incredibly nervous leading into the event, mainly due to this whole “Brazilian Jiu Jitsu” thing, which he feels some of the more casual fans out there may have a hard time dealing with:
I’m nervous. This is the first time in a long time that I’ve been nervous. I don’t get nervous anymore. I get excited and I get pumped up for fights. But you know, I’m nervous for this fight. I’m genuinely nervous like I was at UFC 30 when we did our first one … But the way that I approached this whole coming-out party on Fox is, we live in this little bubble. I live in a world of armbars and rear-naked chokes and triangle chokes and ground-and-pound and all that stuff, but there’s millions and millions of people who have never even heard of any of that and don’t know anything about the UFC. As big as the UFC may seem, it’s not. We’re so far from mainstream still, and now we’ve been given the opportunity to do it. That’s why Saturday is so important. It feels good and I’m excited, yeah, but I’m nervous, man. I’m excited and I’m nervous, and I don’t like to be nervous.
Fret not Dana, we have you covered on that front. And considering who the main event players are, we sincerely doubt that BJJ will play a huge role in the outcome of the fight. But it’s hard to argue with DW, because no matter which way you slice it, more than just a truckload of cash is on the line come Saturday night. We’ve already laid out the keys to success for the UFC’s major network debut, but it’s a bit distressing to think that the thing possibly hindering mixed martial arts from mainstream acceptance is not the whole “extreme violence” factor, but a tactical element of the sport itself. So the question is, how do we get the common folk excited for a sport as abrasive and multi-faceted as MMA? Figure this shit out will you, Potato Nation?