After weeks of hype and speculation, UFC President Dana White finally made his “Big Announcement” Wednesday to Yahoo Sports! And the big announcement was? UFC Owner Lorenzo Fertitta is going to be more involved with the UFC and its international growth? To many this announcement may not seem to be significant, however its global impact could be huge in upcoming years.
Ferttita has officially resigned as President of Station Casinos, where he was one of the highest paid Casino Executives in Las Vegas. White has done a fantastic job of helping the sport and the company grow within the United States, but Ferttita will focus his efforts in getting the UFC into other countries, most notably Germany, Italy, France, China, Japan and the Philippines.
“The UFC is going to have a global footprint in the not-too-distant future,” Fertitta told Yahoo. “We’re already working on furthering our position in Brazil. This is getting so big that it demanded I spend more time with it.”
In somewhat related news, The New York State Assembly’s Tourism, Arts and Sports Development Committee turned down a Bill that would have initiated the process of getting MMA sanctioned in the US’s largest market.
Initially, the Committee was supposed to announce their decision last Thursday, coincidentally the same day that White was to make his “big announcement,” however after the Committee postponed their announcement, so did White. This lead many to believe that MMA’s sanctioning in the Big Apple was going to be White’s announcement.
New York’s Committee’s announcement today added further speculation that this was indeed White’s announcement, and with the Bill falling through, the UFC had to come up with something else. Especially since many thought that Fertitta helping out the UFC full-time was nothing major considering he is the majority owner of the MMA powerhouse.
However, this move is significant behind the MMA scenes since international domination is what the UFC has been focused on for the last few years. In addition to that, Stations Casinos is a billion dollar a year company, and there is no way that Fertitta would leave that kind of money on the table just so White could save face.