In this rare interview with UFC and Station Casinos’ Owner Lorenzo Fertitta, Yahoo Sports writers Steve Cofield and Kevin Iole talk with the business mogul about a myriad of topics.
In part one below, the legalization of mixed martial arts in New York is the first topic of discussion.
Fertitta explains the real issue, as he sees it, is not MMA, but the culinary union in New York is holding the bill up because the Fertittas own one of the largest non-union casino empires in the country.
In part two, Fertitta discusses the Strikeforce acquisition and responds to Iole’s question of whether or not they could possibly be over-saturating the market with too many events.
Fertitta comments on some of the recent perceived low Pay-Per-View numbers and the continued progression and development of the UFC’s lighter weight classes.
The UFC owner also reiterates the idea that fans could realistically see an event a week in the future. He justifies this by pointing out there are only so many Pay-Per-View quality fights they can put on, but if they are showing the majority of these extra events on “free TV” he feels the fans will want to watch.
Fertitta also reminds us the UFC’s current contract with Spike TV is up at the end of the year. Fertitta says they are in talks with all the major media players looking for ways to accommodate their business. They have contracts with fighters that guarantee them so many fights per year, so in essence they “need more fights on free TV,” says Fertitta.
He goes on to explain how the more free fights they put on television helps grow their fan base and helps grow contenders that people are familiar with.