Home News MMA UFC Lays Off 15% of Staff

UFC Lays Off 15% of Staff


The MMA story of the year was the sale in July of the UFC for over $4,000,000 to the talent agency WME-IMG. It was the largest sale in sports history.

As is standard practice in corporate acquisitions, WME-IMG looked for positions that could be cut. They apparently found just under 15% of the company, which is estimated to number approximately 400 employees in total across the headquarters in Las Vegas, and offices in Los Angeles, Toronto, London, Sao Paulo, and Singapore. No international offices will be closed in their entirety.

High-ranking executives were among those relieved of their duties, including:
•Marshall Zelaznik, ten years with the UFC: Formerly the president of the London office and until today chief content officer, who spearheaded the creation of UFC Fight Pass.
•Gary Cook, four years with the UFC: Former head of operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and until todat chief global brand officer and head of international business development.
•Ken Berger, three years with the UFC: Executive vice president and general manager of Asia.
•Jamie Pollack, twelve years with the UFC: Senior vice president of Global Content.
•Shanda Maloney: Social media director.
•Ed Muncey, Senior vice president of technology.
•Brad Smuckler, Controller.

The layoffs reportedly hit today.

Steven Marrocco has the story for MMAjunkie, via an anonymous source.

Layoffs will come in multiple departments, including sponsorships, licensing, public relations and production, though there are no immediate plans to reduce the UFC’s event schedule. Part of WME-IMG’s plan upon acquiring the promotion was to utilize its expertise in live event production, an additional source said.

Over the past three weeks, multiple senior executives have departed the UFC, including longtime UFC matchmaker Joe Silva and Giovanni Decker, vice president and general manager in Brazil. This past week, Dave Sholler, vice president of public relations, athlete marketing and development, announced he is leaving the company to take a job in the communications department for the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers.

The China office was reportedly hit particularly hard, with

perhaps 50% of the employees let go.Several other senior executives with the league have indicated they will resign or have resigned since the sale, including UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, Brazil boss Giovanni Decker, and VP of Public Relations Dave Sholler.

Fighters are considered to be independent contractors rather than employees, and are not believed to be part of the layoff.

UFC President Dana White is expected to remain with the company for at least five years.

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Aaron Portier
Highly passionate MMA Journalist, and I've followed the sport ever since my favorite fighter, Vitor Belfort won the heavyweight tournament at UFC 12. After that I've tried to go to every local MMA event around the Gulf Coast and surrounding areas and decided to make it a point to have a career in some aspect in the fighting sport other than fighting in general (didn't want to ruin my face). I'm currently enrolled at Southeastern Louisiana University working towards a degree in Communication. I cover MMA, Boxing and Football for The Daily Star newspaper in my hometown of Hammond, Louisiana, in addition to working as a promotional writer for a local Boxing promotion known as BoxnCar and I cover boxing for 8countnews.com however SciFighting.com is my home. My main goal is to bring more publicity to MMA in my area and to the sport as a whole as all of us involved with the sport are merely scratching the surface and laying the foundation of what mixed martial arts competition will be further down the road.