The Fertitta Effect

By: Kelvin Hunt

So far the UFC/Zuffa has had another banner year in 2008.  They have accomplished so many things this year that a lot of it flies under the radar.  Things such as:

  • Holding their first ever event in Canada with UFC 83
  • Inking a deal with Bud Light
  • Signing a deal with toy maker JAKKS Pacific

That’s just to name a few things without even mentioning PPV sales so far this year, and gate figures breaking records at almost every new venue they hold an event in.  The majority of all of the things mentioned thus far was accomplished prior to Lorenzo Fertitta joining the fold full time at Zuffa.  However, not to be out done…a couple of BIG things have transpired in the few months that Fertitta has been at work.  Things such as:

  • Bud Light sponsoring fighters
  • Randy Couture returning to the UFC

The significance of having Bud Light sponsor fighters is huge.  There’s no direct proof that Lorenzo Fertitta orchestrated that deal, but you can bet your bottom dollar he had a hand in it.  One thing is certain and that is Fertitta had a role in helping the UFC regain the services of disgruntled HW champion Randy Couture.  Couture admitted that having Fertitta at Zuffa full time was indeed one of the reasons he agreed to come back to the company.  This not only helps set up arguably THE biggest MMA PPV event in it’s history, it also takes a huge caveat away from Zuffa’s competitors while strengthening it’s weakest division.

In almost every interview Dana White always communicates that they are working on something huge within the MMA industry.  It will be interesting to see what the two headed monster of White/Fertitta can accomplish within the next couple of years. Hopefully the Fertitta Effect continues to bring positive change for the UFC and it’s fighters.