The UFC has proven that mixed martial arts can be a successful business in the world of sports.
Over the last several years, UFC president Dana White along with co-owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta have turned the promotion into an international juggernaut, while watching the sport explode in several countries worldwide.
In the world of MMA, it’s undeniable that the UFC is the biggest dog in the pack, but that doesn’t mean they are running all the other canines from the food bowl.
Claims have been made by several organizations, most recently by the Culinary Union in Nevada in a letter filed to the Federal Trade Commission, that the UFC is a monopoly in the world of MMA.
White is here to tell that organization and any like it that while the promotion is definitely a power player in the industry, they are anything but a monopoly.
“This is not a monopoly. It’s the dumbest thing ever said. We are far from a monopoly,” White told MMAWeekly.com on Thursday.
White says to look no further than the recent deal secured by Bellator Fighting Championships on whether the UFC has a monopoly on MMA or not. Bellator sold the majority stake in their company to Viacom, one of the largest entities involved in television, and they will now take over what is widely believed to be the second biggest MMA promotion behind Zuffa run properties like the UFC and Strikeforce.
The flush amount of cash now standing behind Bellator makes them a player on day one, even though they already pulled in hundreds of thousands of viewers for their programming before the deal with Viacom was ever done.
“If we’re a monopoly, Viacom now owns a mixed martial arts organization. They’re sitting on $5 billion in cash. What does that make us? Now we’re the mom and pops,” said White.
“I mean seriously. The UFC has been tremendously successful, but we’re not sitting on $5 billion in (expletive) cash.”
How Viacom will end up promoting and building Bellator remains to be seen, but White is emphatic in his statement that just their involvement alone absolves his promotion of any claims of monopolization of the mixed martial arts industry.
White’s unsure what Viacom will do either, but he knows they have the capital to make a run at it.
“Viacom is sitting on $5 billion in cash. They’ve got the money, they’ve got the platform, the money, the network, we’ll see what happens,” White stated.
The monopoly debate would seem settled just based on those facts alone, but it remains to be seen if more organizations will make similar claims in the future or not.