FBI’s Seizure of Full Tilt Poker Hits Mixed Martial Arts Economy

Written by Tom Ngo
April 19th, 2011

UFC President Dana White

It appears the sport of mixed martial arts will also take a hit from the FBI’s decision to shut down three of the Internet’s largest poker websites. Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the UFC and Strikeforce, told USAToday Full Tilt Poker and the UFC were closing in on “a huge new sponsorship deal.”

Over the weekend, FullTiltPoker.com, PokerStars.com, and AbsolutePoker.com were busted by the Feds after enjoying several years of financial success. The powerhouse sites were charged with fraud, illegal gambling and laundering billions of dollars in illegal betting profits.

Although Full Tilt Poker hasn’t been seen inside of the Octagon for the last couple of years, they have continued to aggressively sponsor several UFC fighters during that time. In addition, they sponsored numerous athletes across several other MMA promotions and had their logo plastered on the “Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Daley” canvas earlier this month.

Unfortunately for fighters and Zuffa, Full Tilt and their hefty sponsorship dollars have been royally flushed down the toilet.

Uncle Sam just ain’t as fun as he used to be…

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