Dana White, UFC continues to show immaturity as a major sports brand with even greater potential problems ahead

Dana White, UFC continues to show immaturity as a major sports brand with even greater potential problems ahead

Within the 5 years because the UFC left Fox to announce a $1.5 billion broadcast deal by 2025 with ESPN, it has been onerous to discover a time when UFC president Dana White wasn’t smiling.

The face of martial arts’ most profitable promotion since 2001, the indefatigable 53-year-old maverick White normally closed every calendar 12 months by reminding his MMA media members how profitable the ESPN deal was, typically declaring it one of the best 12 months within the UFC. financially up to now within the firm’s historical past.

However the begin of 2023 felt slightly completely different.

The UFC presently finds itself at an alarming intersection of narratives, occasions, and unresolved points – usually surrounding the therapy of its athletes – making a “good storm of challenges” that has the potential to threaten future success.

after all, there never ending war pay issue He is dominated the headlines for 2 years as he escalates the dispute between White and an MMA media, usually known as “scumbags” for questioning his decision-making course of. Then, there Recent gambling scandal former fighter and revered coach James Krause led to the reducing of two UFC fighters after the promotion banned all contributors from legally betting on fights because of official issues concerning the integrity of the product.

Worse, White has publicly apologized after a video surfaced this week. Physical quarrel with his wife from New Year’s Eve It was videotaped at a nightclub in Mexico. No authorized fees have been filed, however everybody from ESPN to the UFC to mother or father firm Endeavor remained awkwardly quiet afterward.

Cannot get sufficient of boxing and MMA? Get the newest information within the martial arts world from two of the business’s finest. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for one of the best evaluation and in-depth information.

ESPN’s solely touch upon the incident was, back to the UFC saying the media, “ESPN distributes and UFC produces content material.” From the unhealthy timing information, information of White’s home quarrel got here the day ex-UFC fighter Phil Baroni was arrested in Mexico. the allegation that he beat his girlfriend to death.

This all brings us to Thursday morning, apparently from left subject, when one among White’s most ardent critics, YouTube star {and professional} boxer Jake Paul introduced that he had signed a two-fight MMA deal beneath the PFL banner and launched pay-per-view. – view the “tremendous struggle” part. PFL additionally introduced that Paul will obtain firm fairness and his arrival will imply PPV fighters will obtain “at the very least” 50% of income; it is a purposeful punch focusing on the UFC, which pays its fighters in response to earlier courtroom filings. 20% of whole income.

Whereas the Paul information could seem unrelated on the floor, the largest shock issue within the announcement was that ESPN, which has a smaller output take care of the PFL, basically employed one among White’s largest PPV rivals in Paul. UFC fighters will compete straight in opposition to him beneath the identical community banner.

Nakisa Badarian, a former CFO of the UFC, which White beforehand dismissed as a “scumbag account,” was additionally employed by the PFL and given a inventory. Badarian, co-founder of Paul’s Most Priceless Promotions, will help with league operations and technique for the PFL’s PPV enlargement.

PFL co-founder Donn Davis even used the Paul announcement to elucidate precisely what his intentions have been, in an interview with The New York Occasions on Thursday.

“You’re not a prisoner of the UFC,” Davis stated. “Now you can select the UFC or the PFL, however what makes the PFL completely different is that we’re popping out with an actual financial partnership for fighters.”

Whereas none of the present points the UFC is dealing with will lead to crippling short-term issues – aside from the deafening silence of ESPN, the UFC, and mother or father firm Endeavor concerning White – the long-term risk of each problem can’t be ignored. .

Each Paul and Davis’ concentrate on combative therapy goes past a easy payoff and has some direct hyperlinks to the continuing playing scandal; in 2021.

Featherweight Darrick Minner, one among Krause’s former fighters, entered a now notorious struggle with a pre-existing leg damage in opposition to Shaylian Nuerdanbieke on November 5. Minner used it to kick his injured leg twice within the first spherical earlier than bending over in ache and being stopped by elbow blows.

The dramatic fluctuation in pre-fight odds, together with the massive cash that got here in a first-round TKO loss for Minner, led to the struggle being faraway from varied sportsbooks, and UFC betting was briefly banned in a number of jurisdictions, together with the Canadian province of Ontario. Till the investigation that led to Krause and Minner’s exile is carried out.

However except for the very actual concern that the Minner struggle is mocking the potential for behind-the-scenes impropriety and hypothesis is escalating in the direction of fight-fixing, his destiny might not be too completely different from former smallweight champion TJ Dillashaw’s defeat to the present champion in October. Aljamain Pound.

Dillashaw badly injured her shoulder at coaching camp and later admitted she was out of the socket. entering the fight more than 20 times. Dillashaw would go on to lose by second-round TKO after a shoulder break up within the opening minute made him largely uncompetitive. The connection between Minner and Dillashaw surrounds pre-existing accidents and UFC coverage, which dictates that the promotion will solely pay for surgical procedure after accidents skilled contained in the Octagon.

On the floor, the profitable ESPN deal and the fixed stream of recent sponsors added point out that the UFC has grown to a stage of success and cross-applicability it may solely have dreamed of 15 years in the past. By 2008, the UFC was changing into an rising PPV instrument that rivaled that of boxing however had bother breaking the stigma of cage combating sufficient to get constant protection from main shops like ESPN.

At each step of the corporate’s rise, White prophesied concerning the model’s international potential and was forward of the sport that the UFC would in the future be acknowledged because the “massive 4 sports activities” group on par with the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and elite faculty sports activities. To White’s credit score, this got here true when the ESPN deal was signed and the deliberate cross-promotion of sports activities on the community via legacy platforms like “SportsCenter” and “First Take” was seen as a form of commencement. Nation Membership Popularity Degree.

White’s already strong fame for constantly assembly and/or exceeding fan expectations for giant fights was additional cemented into legendary immortality with brash strategies. kept the product alive amid the coronavirus pandemic. When the UFC extremely fulfilled the minimal set of dates required by the ESPN deal whereas White’s rivals have been idle, all of a sudden ESPN+ turned the one place to go to on the town for dwell sports activities within the spring and summer time of 2020.

Each the UFC and White have turn into darlings of nearly everybody, from the followers to the identical ESPN executives who partnered with them. However the easy journey wasn’t with out bumps, as White was advised to “again off” by ESPN’s mother or father firm Disney in April 2020. first tried to stage fights in California Native American grounds earlier than any state fee offers approval.

Nevertheless, what this set of probably compromising points appears to query for the UFC is whether or not White and his relied on fight promotion are really prepared for prime time, particularly when it comes to the duties that include being introduced as such a mainstream presence. The ESPN deal supplied the UFC particular dates on terrestrial tv with ABC.

ESPN’s silence within the wake of White’s home scandal appears to query whether or not the community views the UFC on par with different main leagues it has partnered with, together with the NFL and NBA. Can another main sport’s commissioner or front-line govt get away with this sort of unhealthy press with out punishment? And what’s ESPN’s accountability to report on type as aggressively as different sports activities?

White has constructed a lot of his fame on how politically incorrect he usually chooses to be. In earlier occasions when MMA was seen as nothing greater than a cage struggle with the surface world, UFC may have labored higher when it aired on Spike TV or Gasoline TV. Nevertheless, it can not proceed at this stage the place beforehand minor or forgotten matters turn into entrance web page information.

What occurred to White and his spouse was nothing wanting petty and rippled via a martial arts group that already had a awful observe document when it got here to home abuse and the therapy of victims. The rallying cry of fighters, followers, and even media members in latest days who’ve publicly supported White exhibits that there’s nonetheless main change to be made.

The UFC could have fulfilled all or most of White’s lofty desires to get to the place he’s at present. But when latest historical past exhibits that the honeymoon is over and uneven waters are imminent for an organization whose response to severe issues is extraordinarily immature for the platform it carries.

#Dana #White #UFC #continues #present #immaturity #main #sports activities #model #better #potential #issues #forward

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *