The UFC continues its unprecedented expansion and dominance in the MMA marketplace. While Bellator is a force, it isn’t in the same world as the UFC. The company recently announced its Fight Pass as part of a digital network that expands the way fans experience the UFC. MMA may not be legal in New York, but the UFC has emerged as the fastest growing sport in the world and created a new professional avenue for young athletes.
These aren’t bar fights; they are highly trained athletes who choose MMA. None of this would be possible with UFC President Dana White, whose vision and “X” factor have helped launch the sport into the American mainstream. White, whether he knows it or not, has created a UFC model that works in many ways similar to how Vince McMahon revolutionized the WWE. Here’s a look at some of the ways, White is like McMahon:
3. Be The Star
2. Fire or Blast the Dissidents
Tito Ortiz, Frank Shamrock, Randy Couture, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson are all essentially persona non grata, and written out of UFC history. From White’s point of view some of them were traitors, others insignificant, but whatever the reason, White never hesitated to kick them to the curb. McMahon made a lot of money turning on his legends too. At one time, McMahon created vignettes calling Hulk Hogan the “Huckster” and Mean Gene Okerlund “scheme” Gene. McMahon, just like White does now, made the brand more important than the original stars, and was never afraid to devalue the guys who crossed him.
1. TV Sells PPV
The UFC is all about selling monthly PPVs. Yes, the UFC has a multimillion-dollar deal with FOX, but the lifeblood of the company is PPV revenue. Although the WWE is a publicly traded company with more revenue streams than the UFC, the WWE also centers its storylines and television products around the monthly PPV build. The networks build toward sweeps weeks, but the UFC and WWE have learned that the No. 1 goal is to get fans to spend $45 a month to buy a PPV. Boxing has big PPVs about twice a year. The WWE and UFC try to do it 12 times a year.