Before a potential buyer purchases a company, an audit of the businesses expenses is done to determine areas that costs may be cut. The buyer does their due diligence. After purchase, it’s typical for a number of employee positions and business expenses to be eradicated.
UFC president Dana White said that’s exactly what’s happening within the fight promotion since its sale for $4 billion in July.
“When another company takes over another company, it’s absolutely normal for them to come in and, especially at the executive level, let guys go at the executive level. They have guys they are gonna bring in that will fill those positions, and some of these people that they’ve been letting go that work for the (UFC), (WME-IMG) already have people to fill those roles. They have their own people. So it’s their company, they roll in and they put their own people in these positions. That’s absolutely normal,” White said while appearing on the UFC Unfiltered podcast.
“A lot of our executives were let go. That is absolutely normal. They’re gonna come in and they’re gonna put their own people in those positions. Especially a company as big as WME-IMG, they already have a ton of people for these positions,” White added.
UFC Hall of Famers, former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell and former welterweight champion Matt Hughes, held positions within the organization under Zuffa ownership. After they quit fighting, Zuffa put them on the payroll, largely as a way to say thank you.
Their employment was terminated after the sale.
“The Chuck Liddell and Matt Hughes thing, those were my guys. During the Zuffa era, those were my guys. And I wanted them to retire. I respected these guys. They helped build this company when I was growing it. And, I told them both, I said, ‘Listen, unless I drop dead or it comes to a position sometime where I’m not controlling how much money is being spent, or all that stuff, you guys will get a paycheck until that day.’ That day came.”
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White explained that positions were opened in the fight promotion to reward veteran fighters for their contributions to the company’s growth. Liddell and Hughes were two of them, but ‘the times they are a-changin.’
“The thing with Chuck and Matt, it was a loyalty thing for me,” said White. “It was my gift to them for being the guys that they were when me, Frank, and Lorenzo (Fertitta), when it was our money.”