What is the future for the UFC and MMA?
Dana White and the Fertitta brothers have done more for the sport of MMA then anyone else, but where do they look for an examples of future promotions of MMA to stay on top?
The answer is the WWE.
Being the closest in term of logistics on sport “entertainment,” the WWE is a perfect template for MMA to follow.
Now, I’m not talking about the stupid fireworks and rock shows. I’m talking about how the WWE is still growing and has managed to remove any real competitors. The WWE is the top dog in the wrestling world, having put their biggest competitor (WCW) out of business and making themselves their only competition.
After creating "Smackdown" and buying out ECW, the WWE and Vince McMahon have positioned themselves as their own best friend.With three top wrestling shows on different channels and a huge list of wrestlers on the payroll, there is no room for anyone else.
Vince McMahon can move his wrestlers around his different organizations to boost ratings and keep things fresh. It also gives him the ability to put on the must see match of top wrestlers from the different organizations. They also own several handfuls of small organizations where they look for new talent and train them.
Now, look at Dana White and the Fertitta brothers. With the purchase of Pride, WEC and (I believe) Britain’s cage fights, the UFC is slowly grabbing the whole market. With MMA growing all the time, it is only natural there will be more then one MMA organization, but who’s to say the UFC won’t own them.
The fact is UFC is on the right road with all the hard turns behind them. As it stands, Affliction has the best chances of making a run at UFC, but they just don't get that MMA fans aren’t wrestling fans.
Fireworks and rock shows are stupid.
EliteXC is running out of money and Dream 6 is just that: a dream.
They just won’t be able to dethrone the UFC as the MMA kings.
However, say the UFC buys out Affliction and keeps them alive (unlike pride). Now, they own their competition and can cross promote like mad men. Or say they buy and “fix” EliteXC. That would put them on primetime as well with SPIKE. Now they can test new fighters out there first and build up their hype before bring them to the UFC roster.
At UFC's current growth rate, it is not hard to see them taking this route in the near future. But, you never know. Life is funny. Today, Dana’s saying he hates Affliction and they’ll be out of business before January. But, tomorrow he may say they’re the second best investment he’s made.
The Fertitta brothers are the money behind the UFC, which means they’re the ones making the big decisions. Yes, Dana’s input probably plays a big role in their decisions, but it is still up to them. Dana White is their guard dog watching over their house, so he likes to bark a lot.
A Final thought: when Vince McMahon took the WWE public, he went from being a multi-millionaire to a multi-billionaire over-night with endless resources at his disposal. How long before we are buying our UFC stocks and action figures?