Fertitta Brothers

Quote of the Day: Zuffa Willing to Sell Stake?


Dana White. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

“It’s a possibility. For what we value this thing at, you would have to find somebody right now with a lot of cash laying around, who wants to get in this business, get a piece of it and kind of just sit over there and not tell us what to do.”

—UFC president Dana White tells Bloomberg that Zuffa officials may be willing to sell a 10-15% stake to a private investor.

Zuffa’s Monopoly is Hurting Their Fighters


Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

When it comes to other organizations and companies, the Zuffa way of doing business is quite simple: if you’re not with them, you’re against them.

Who can blame them really? After bringing the UFC back from near extinction and originally intending to work together with anyone and everyone to better the sport of mixed martial arts, Dana White and the Brothers Fertitta have seen their investment explode into its own monster. The UFC has become so popular, that to the casual fan, the organization is bigger and more well-known than the actual sport itself.

One-time working partnerships with Japan’s now-defunct PRIDE Fighting Championships and Fighting and Entertainment Group are now things of the past. Instead, the UFC is claiming victory over their rivals left and right, with both the International Fight League and ProElite folding this year alone. Slowly but surely, the UFC is becoming the only show in town, and with that power comes the ability to control almost everything, and sadly, even fighter sponsorships fall under this category.

Continue reading "Zuffa’s Monopoly is Hurting Their Fighters"

Dana White’s UFC 88 Video Blog Part Five

Above is the fifth entry for Dana White‘s video blog for UFC 88: Breakthrough, which takes place this Saturday night in Atlanta, Georgia. In this edition, Dana and Lorenzo Fertitta travel to CNN to meet with officials about possibly covering the sport of MMA, meet with Japanese media, oversee the UFC 88 weigh-ins, and sign some autographs among other things.

UFC vs. Couture Battle Moves Back to Vegas


Randy Couture. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The seemingly never-ending battle between the Ultimate Fighting Championship and it’s estranged heavyweight champion, Randy Couture, will now officially move back to Las Vegas after a Dallas, Texas appeals court blocked a separate Texas court from hearing Mark Cuban’s request for a declaratory judgment concerning the contractual status of Couture when it comes to the UFC on Friday.

Cuban is expected to appeal the ruling to the Texas Supreme Court next week. His HDNet Fights promotion reportedly entered into a contractual agreement with Couture back in February, thus the request for a decision on Couture’s contractual status. UFC parent company Zuffa originally filed to remove HDNet’s request back in March. The move was made because the suit was not filed in Nevada, where the company is based.

However “HDNet MMA 2008”, the name Cuban filed suit under, is a Nevada limited liability company. Zuffa also alleged that HDNet’s Nevada address was an attempt to manipulate the court’s jurisdiction, but the accusation fell on deaf ears. Now that Zuffa has the court battle back on their home turf, they have began to have closed-door arbitration hearings in an attempt to finally solve the battle that has now been ongoing for almost eight months now.

Continue reading "UFC vs. Couture Battle Moves Back to Vegas"

Big Announcement: Lorenzo Fertitta Takes Bigger Role With UFC


Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White. Photo property of the UFC.

Well the big announcement wasn’t exactly “mind-blowing” but it may turn out to be a little bigger than people think, over time that is.

In an exclusive interview with Kevin Iole, UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta has revealed that he has resigned as President of Las Vegas-based Station Casinos in order to focus his efforts full-time on the promotion. His brother, Frank, will retain his stake in the UFC but will now head their casino empire on his own.

“The problem, if there is a problem, is that the business has gotten so successful, it’s requiring more time, focus and attention,” Fertitta said in the article. “Station Casinos is a business my family and I have built and now it’s a multi-billion dollar company. But the reality is, the UFC has gone through so much growth in the last eight years, my brother and I felt we’d be better in divide and conquer mode. He’ll stay at Station Casinos and take care of that and I’ll come over here and work on the issues involving the UFC.”

Lorenzo will now be working side-by-side with Dana White. His main job will be to oversee international expansion. Among the countries name-dropped by Lorenzo as possible spots to hold an event were Russia, India, Dubai, Brazil, China, the Philippines, South Korea, and Japan.

Other plans include landing more big-name sponsors, particularly in countries other than the United States, and working on merchandising and ancillary rights, which is huge because it will finally help solve one of the sport’s biggest problems in the form of a lack of proper compensation for the fighters’ usage of their own images.

Continue reading "Big Announcement: Lorenzo Fertitta Takes Bigger Role With UFC"

Polar Opposition


Photo courtesy of TitoOrtiz.com.

When Tito Ortiz and Lyoto Machida step into the Octagon Saturday night in Las Vegas, the audience around the world will see two completely different fighters standing across from each other.

They come from opposite ends of the spectrum, from opposite sides of the world. Their styles aren’t the same. One likes to talk trash, one likes to keep quiet. They had different upbringings. Ortiz and Machida are complete opposites.

“I’m Brazilian but my way of thinking is Japanese,” Machida said when talking about his early martial arts training with his father. “I started karate when I was four years old with my father. My father always tells me that I have Samurai blood. That I must be fight and keep strong. He’s always teaching me that in life, I have to do things by myself. I try to be somebody but it’s very difficult. Everyday when I wake up, I think that I have to live a Samurai-style kind of life but it’s difficult. You have to be honest. You have to be real.”

Ortiz wasn’t as fortunate growing up.

“I remember being a young kid growing up on the street. I was using drugs, all my friends were using drugs, and I never had any self-worth,” Ortiz said. “My parents were drug addicts and I realized that I could be in their shoes one day. I saw guys like Hulk Hogan and Muhammad Ali and I told myself that I wanted to be like those guys. I wanted to have that flamboyancy, I wanted to have that star power.”

Continue reading "Polar Opposition"

Couture Moves Closer to Contract Ruling


Randy Couture. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

After months of being tossed around in his separate lawsuits with UFC parent company Zuffa, Randy Couture, the promotion’s current heavyweight champion, will now find out whether or not he can pursue a showdown against top ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko later this year.

Dallas, Texas District Court ruled yesterday to deny three motions by Zuffa to dismiss or delay Mark Cuban’s HDNet Fights’ request for a declaratory judgment concerning the contractual status of Couture when it comes to his promotional contract (the deal that dictates where Couture can fight) according to Sherdog.com.

Judgment will now be made in Texas court on June 2nd, a date that could either make Couture a free agent after his current deal with the UFC expires this summer or force him to fight two more times inside the confines of the Las Vegas-based organization.

HDNet Fights reportedly entered into a contractual agreement with Couture back in February, thus the request for a decision on Couture’s contractual status. Zuffa originally filed to remove HDNet’s request back in March. The move was made because the suit was not filed in Nevada, where Zuffa is based. However HDNet MMA 2008, the name Cuban filed suit under, is a Nevada limited liability company. Zuffa also alleged that HDNet’s Nevada address was an attempt to manipulate the court’s jurisdiction, but the accusation fell on deaf ears.

Even if he is granted free agency, Couture will still have to contend with a defamation suit Zuffa filed against him in January. The lawsuit cites that Couture made negative comments about the promotion and those involved with it’s management. They also stated that the comments have caused “irreparable damage” and that he has breached the employment contract he signed with the company.

The accusations stem from the International Fight League’s attempts to field a team using the Xtreme Couture gym name. The lawsuit, which will now go ahead in court, will also attempt to collect up to $10,000 in damages from Couture and seek a restraining order that will prevent him from being involved with any other organizations that compete against the UFC.

Shamrock Files Suit Against Zuffa


Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Ultimate Fighting Championship Hall of Fame member Ken Shamrock has filed a lawsuit against the parent company of his former employer, Zuffa LLC, alleging a breach of contract concerning the two-fight deal Shamrock signed in the summer of 2006.

Despite announcing his retirement from mixed martial arts immediately following his third and final loss to former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz in October of 2006, Shamrock later told the UFC that he was interested in completing the final bout on his deal, only to be told that he had been cut from his contract.

“The UFC breached my contract,” Shamrock said in a October 2007 interview with our friends at MMA Junkie. “I had one fight left on my contract, and they just told my agent and my attorney that they were terminating by contact for no reason, saying that my quality, my level of fighting can’t compete in the UFC.”

While Shamrock claims of having one-fight left on his deal with the UFC are legitimate, it’s also widely known that Zuffa reserves the right to release a fighter from a contract if they are unsatisfied with his performance.

After learning of his release from the UFC, Shamrock, along with his son Ryan, signed a multi-fight deal with Pro Elite. Shamrock was knocked out by Robert Berry last month in a heavyweight bout at Cage Rage 25: Bring It On.

The suit, which was filed on April 15th in Las Vegas, is seeking damages of up to $10,000 as well as any court costs.

HT: MMA Junkie

Rumor: UFC Possibly Headed to FOX?


Dana White. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

While past discussions with CBS and ESPN never produced anything more than headaches, it seems that FOX may be the latest potential suitor in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s quest to land a network television deal.

Adam Swift of MMA Payout has learned that FOX is now widely believed to be the front-runner in the race of become the UFC’s second television home. Unlike past dealings with other networks, it seems that the two sides are making progress, so much so that UFC President Dana White stated that a deal would be done within the next six months last week on Canadian television.

Swift also points out that FOX was rumored to have made a bid to purchase the UFC while co-owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta may have been shopping the organization around in order to gauge offers last year.

It’s believed that the UFC may also be still talking with ESPN executives about taking their relationship to another level. However it’s long been noted that ESPN still has not made a decision within that would have the network start to televise mixed martial arts events.

HDNet-Zuffa Battle Moved to Texas Court


Dana White speaks at a press conference for UFC 70: Nations Collide. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Mark Cuban and HDNet netted a minor legal victory over Zuffa earlier this week when U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas granted HDNet their motion to move Zuffa’s current lawsuit against Cuban and his mixed martial arts promotion to Texas State Court.

The news comes from Adam Swift of MMA Payout and Sherdog.com.

HDNet Fights reportedly entered into a contractual agreement with current UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture back in February. The deal will have the promotion attempt to set up a showdown between Couture and top ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko later this year.

The deal was also involved in an attempt to garner an official court ruling on a declaratory judgment concerning the contractual status of Couture when it comes to his promotional contract (the deal that dictates where Couture can fight). Zuffa claims that although Couture resigned from the UFC, he must live up to the remainder of his current contract.

Last month, Zuffa filed to remove HDNet’s declaratory judgment action brought against the company. The move was made because the suit was not filed in Nevada, where Zuffa is based. However HDNet MMA 2008, the name Cuban filed suit under, is a Nevada limited liability company.

Zuffa alleged that HDNet’s Nevada address was an attempt to manipulate the court’s jurisdiction, but a move of the lawsuit to Texas is believed to be a blow to the owners of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, who were rumored to have some pull in Nevada.

Page 1 of 5 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›