Nearly two years ago the UFC was purchased by Endeavor (formerly WME-IMG), and right off the bat mixed martial arts (MMA) fans could tell the promotion would be headed in a very different direction than year's past.
Previous owners, the Fertitta Brothers, were fans of the sport and ran it as a legitimate athletic endeavor. Since the rise of Conor McGregor, however, who brought a more WWE-style of promotion to the sport, the UFC has taken on a mainstream approach.
Instead of giving fights to those who truly deserve them, the UFC seems more interested in making "money fights."
This hasn't really resulted in better revenue for the UFC, as it has turned hardcore MMA fans off and pay-per-view (PPV) numbers have struggled as a result.
A large part of this is due to the fact that Conor McGregor is taking time off, Ronda Rousey is now with WWE, and Jon Jones is currently suspended.
One of the most recognizable names in MMA recently stopped by the Joe Rogan podcast, Big John McCarthy.
McCarthy was a referee in MMA for several years and was front-and-center for some of the biggest moments in the sport's history.
He has since signed a deal with Bellator MMA to do commentary work for the promotion.
When speaking with Rogan, McCarthy revealed the one thing that the old UFC had that made it so great, that it no longer has anymore - the Fertitta Brothers (quotes via LowKickMMA):
“The greatest thing that the UFC had was Lorenzo Fertitta,” McCarthy said.
“I’m just being honest. Dana White was fantastic for the UFC as far as his work effort and the amount of work he put into it and non-stop just going after deals, trying to make things happen.”
“(Having too many events) is part of the problem,” McCarthy said.
“For a while there, they were almost competing against themselves with pay-per-views. You had two pay-per-views in a month, and you went and said ‘I’ll buy that one, I’m not gonna buy that one.’
“You can’t be in business against yourself.”
What are your thoughts on McCarthy saying that the one thing the old UFC had that made it great, that the company doesn't have today, is the Fertitta brothers? Do you think that the Fertitta brothers were the secret ingredient that made the UFC so great? And how do you feel about the UFC's current business model today? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below!
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