Lorenzo Fertitta’s ESPN ‘Outside the Lines’ Interview Uncut and Unedited

January 16, 2012
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ESPN’s Outside the Lines program recently delved into the issue of UFC fighter pay with CEO and co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta. To say that UFC officials were unhappy with the resulting edited interview would be an understatement.

Not only did UFC president Dana White release a 12-minute video in retort to ESPN’s piece, but the UFC also on Monday released a complete unedited 47-minute version of Fertitta’s interivew with Outside the Lines. The final piece for the program, of course, was edited down from the full interview, but the UFC had it’s own camera filming the full interview.

Watch the full Lorenzo Fertitta Outside the Lines interview, uncut and unedited, below…

  • Good to see the full interview. Lorenzo held his own and brought up some excellent points and counter-points.

  • T876543

    I think Lorenzo is an honest guy and I like the fact that he said, if the fighters want to unionize, then they can…..I think how they pay bonuses when they necessarily don’t have to is HUGE…The way that they paid Eric Silva as if he won is just an example of how they always try to do the best thing for the fighters…..I guess the only thing that I would like to see happen is a fighter minimum…..In order for a guy to train for months and fight takes a little more than $12,000 but, I do not think they treat the fighters bad….Their motto is, do good for me and we will do good for you, PLAIN and SIMPLE.

    • I disagree with setting a minimum pay scale for entry level guys. If Zuffa makes an offer and a fighter accepts it, that’s on him. That’s an agreement between 2 parties and nobody is being forced to sign on the dotted line. That initial contract is a foot in the door and an opportunity to shine on the biggest stage in the sport. It’s on the fighter to prove his worth and EARN higher pay from that point forward.

      Signing with the UFC is about much more than what a fighter’s contracted pay is. There’s a certain amount of prestige that comes along with being a “UFC fighter” and any manager worth his cut should be able to leverage that “UFC fighter” title and turn it into money for the fighter.

  • lowlb

    25:05 bothers me. I think the UFC should be a legitimate sport based ranking. …like every other sport and not a popularity contest. Sometimes it appears to be but Lorenzo says otherwise. (25:05) If he wants differentiate the UFC from “perverted” boxing there should be no funny business regarding match ups. It shouldn’t be what the fans want to see it should be a sports competition.
    just my .02

    I agree 31:30 he say the UFC have monopolized the sport. I agree.

    People look at the UFC and boxing and think it’s a shady business and Lorenzo seems to not be interested in legitimizing it. He says the match up are based on what the public wants to see. It shouldn’t be that way..
    It’s a shame and a sham.

    • lowlb

      It is entertaining though…

    • “It shouldn’t be what the fans want to see it should be a sports competition”

      Seriously? LOL

      One of the main reasons the UFC is so wildly popular is because they give us the fights we want to see.

      • lowlb

        I hear you man but I think it brings up questions… Why have rankings if number 2 isn’t gonna fight 1? It makes no sense.
        I believe Chael Sonnen. #2 should fight # 1 because he earned it. That’s the way every other sport works, why not the UFC?

        “One of the main reasons the UFC is so wildly popular is because they give us the fights we want to see.”

        So you think the world wants to see Sonnen vs Munoz?
        I think the world wants to see sonnen (#2) fight anderson( #1)

        • I wasn’t aware that the UFC had rankings. What rankings are you going off of? Rankings are highly subjective and people place too much emphasis on them IMO. If fights were based strictly on rankings then we would be stuck watching Jon Fitch fight for the belt every 2 years. No thanks.

          Sonnen – Munoz is happening because Anderson was injured and won’t be ready until early summer. Chael said he didn’t want to sit on the shelf that long.

          • xtutx

            The guys that need to make coin have to fight… Anderson has a lot of money now so he can afford to get hurt. Cheal and Munoz need to keep busy in order to get paid. They are both legitimate contenders and so they are going to put on a show.

  • Ronin

    A totally feel sympathy for Lorenzo. The issue is, these young fighters who are complaining have no corporate or business experience (some probably have never held a real job before either) and don’t know the difference between job performance and “kissing ass.”

    This confusion of “kissing ass” and working hard to excel reminds me of when people say, “Keep it real!” Keeping it real to them means that a person should never try to progress because progression is “selling out.” It’s the same thing with some of these fighters. Anything outside of punching, kicking and submitting is “kissing ass” and looked down upon.

    Here’s the deal, if you want big bucks you’ve got to expand your portfolio of skills and adjust your character to suit those skills. If you want to be stuck in the hot kitchen forever, that’s fine, your choice, but don’t crap on everyone else or the restaurant because of your principles.

    I personally would love to have a guy like Lorenzo as a boss because he’s opening the door for people who want to grow and it’s their choice whether to take it or not. This is called liberty and freemarket capitalism like we claim to love in America….

  • jmat13

    If the UFC was so evil. Why would the give up their own money to cover all fighters with health care when under contract? I see every cut they have made. Not one has been to injury. When they break stuff it costs a ton. The UFC has said we will foot the bill. No other sport does that. What does anyone think private insurance would cost when you say your job is being a MMA fighter? So those 6 and 6 guys are having a huge expence paid for them along with the fight check. I wish Lorenzo would have brought that up. The UFC didn’t have to do that. They did it to protect the fighters and protect their investment.

    • MikeMc1983

      To be specific, they didn’t give their fighters “health care” in the way the rest of us have health care. They gave the fighters injury insurance. There is a difference between the two. I obviously don’t know every difference, but I hear that they are largely different.
      I’m sorry I don’t know the best way to explain it. I have an idea of what is covered, and what is not, but I lack the proper know how to explain it. Maybe, one of the other guys do. ShortBus I think knows a bit about it, or maybe Damon?

      • TKD

        “I obviously don’t know every difference, but I hear that they are largely different.” Why even put your two cents in if you admittedly have no idea what you are talking about? It makes you sound stupid to say any of that.

        Unless you are a UFC fighter, you know nothing about how they handle their business. Nobody is forcing the fighters to sign with them, and nobody is forcing them to accept UFC’s terms. Everyone has options, and everyone can make their own grown up choices.

  • shaman

    They should have asked about Todd Duffee..

    Especially as a follow up to the “fighters union” question

    Lorenzo sounds so blithe when talking to reporters about fighter pay, good thing this reporter wasn’t a Zuffa employee or we’d be reminded how Lorenzo ‘really’ thinks about speaking one’s mind

    • Asked what about Todd Duffee?

      • shaman

        He should have asked why Todd Duffee was fired for complaining about his pay

        (Especially when he asks about ‘freedom of speech for UFC fighters’ at the 23:11 mark)

        Duffee’s treatment is a clear indication of how the UFC is run from the inside, and is a classic example of why we have players unions in sports

        • Was a bit more involved in Duffee’s firing than any pay complaint he voiced. His overall attitude was what got him his pink slip more than anything else. Losing his last fight and having a TRT exemption at 25 years of age probably didn’t help him much either.

          How was his termination from the UFC any different than how something like that would be handled at any other company in any other industry? If your attitude at work sucks why should they keep you around? There’s a hundred guys lined up at the door who will do the job with “yes sir, no sir” attitude and a smile on their face. Working for a private company is a privilege not a right. Nobody owes you a job.

          And what exactly does “run from the inside” mean? Zuffa is a privately held company, of course it’s run from the inside.

          • TKD

            Well said, SHORT_BUS!

  • shaman

    question at 23:11

    lie at 23:42

    • TKD

      Idiot at January 17, 2012 at 5:26 pm .

  • bbtakayama

    I think they should pay these fighters less. How little would they have to get paid so I only have to pay $8 for a PPV? I paid $300 dollars for ringside tickets at UFC 40, now $300 barely gets me in the bottom half of an arena!!! #@$% ESPN!!! Didn’t Tim Tebow just fart, shouldn’t they be reporting that?