After a long battle to secure sanctioning, SEG was borderline bankrupt then, in 2000, Dana White and his business partners Station Casinos executives Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta approached Meyrowitz with an offer to purchase the UFC. It was January 2001 when the Fertittas bought the UFC for $2 million and created Zuffa (Italian for “fight”), LLC as the parent entity controlling the UFC.
4 years later, by advertising in every way they could think of… Full page ads in Adult magazines, radio, TV, print, they found themselves 44 million dollars in the hole.
I bet you didn’t know that!
Did you know at one point UFC (no-holds barred fighting) was legally banned in 50 states! Even Fertittas’ lawyers laughed at them when they decided to buy.
Forbes Magazine even stated that they doubt Dana White and Fertittas would make anything worthwhile at all with UFC. Even Government was opposed to their success, Senator John McCain called it “human cockfighting”.
Fertitta instructed to sell the company and the best offer was in the neighborhood of 7 million+-. Lorenzo and his team rolled the dice and threw another 10 million at it and started the ultimate fighter, a reality TV show. It was with Spike TV ( a new young company )
The first season set records in the demographic of 18 to 34 yr olds. Then the Finale Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar. They got a rating of 5 points or better on the neilson rating. That’s huge!
It’s estimated that the UFC controls 90% of the mixed martial arts industry.
Today, UFC is worth over 2.5 Billion dollars today!
All the best to you,
~ John Milanoski