Dana White. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Update 8:00 PM: Dave Meltzer is reporting through Wrestling Observer that the huge announcement the UFC originally planned for this Thursday will now take place next Tuesday instead. Tomorrow’s WWE press conference in New York will also have nothing to do with the UFC.
Whatever this massive announcement set to go down tomorrow may be, Dana White and company have done a good job of keeping it under wraps, well, if we haven’t correctly guessed it already that is.
Along with current UFC heavyweight Brock Lesnar, White appeared on CNBC today (video here) to discuss the organization’s newly-signed deal with action-figure toy leader Jakks Pacific, which will begin distributing various UFC-themed products starting next year. Not that much of a bombshell but it’s certainly a deal that will help the promotion grow even further.
“These are collectibles,” White said today on CNBC’s “Power Lunch”. “Am I saying that little kids won’t play with them? No, I’m sure kids will play with them. There’s an Octagon and accessories and all different kinds of things that kids can play with.”
White also went on to dispel some of the current rumors that are flying around regarding his “mind-blowing big news”. What rumors? Well for starters, there’s the notion that recently retired boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is expected to sign with the promotion. According to White, that’s false.
Things also not happening according to White include a potential television deal with either FOX or ESPN that Sam Caplan and myself as well still believe will be the actual real announcement and the purchase of the company by a group investors led by White and WWE figurehead Vince McMahon that MMA Rated has since proclaimed as debunked, but King of the Cage veteran and resident Underground poster Sean McCorkle says is true.
McCorkle is usually a pretty dependable informant when it comes to rumors like these. Also pretty good at breaking news is Adam Swift of MMA Payout, who has learned that Morgan Stanley has reportedly been working on a Financial deal between Zuffa and another unnamed party, adding a bit more credibility to the potential of White and McMahon joining forces.
Last but not least, we also have to keep in mind that Jakks has been a longtime maker of WWE-related products as well. Coincidence? WWE is also planning on holding a press conference tomorrow in New York City. It was announced on Monday Night Raw last night that the meeting will have to do with the company’s current million dollar giveaway sweepstakes but anything is possible at this point.
I’m still sticking with my television deal prediction along with a few other smaller tidbits (MMA legalized in New York, Chuck Liddell’s opponent for September) to be revealed Thursday as well. It should be an interesting day to say the least.
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