Monday, February 23, 2009

Dana White and Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta

Today we honor Dana White and Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta for their leadership and innovation in making the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) a mainstream, wealth-creating powerhouse. UFC is, in the words of the UFC website, "The entity of the UFC [Ultimate Fighting Championship] is the world’s leading mixed martial arts sports association..." Today's Heroes took over UFC in January 2001. Prior to this, UFC was a fledgling, law-skirting entity that John McCain (yes, that John McCain) sought to outlaw in all 50 states. As you'll see below, White and Fertittas took UFC to another level.

To understand the contributions of White and the Fertittas, one must understand that the orgins of UFC are clouded with government censorship. Intially, in UFC there were almost no rules; including no weight classes or divisions. Let me be clear, this is not prowrestling. UFC is comprised of actual fighters from different disciplines. Many people called for the UFC matches to be disbanded because of the violence. Over time, there became more rules, including weight classes. Some of the contraversy died down.

The Fertittas bought UFC with their company Zuffa and made White the President. When White and the Fertittas took over in 2001, they began to get state commision sanctioning, which gave the sport some legtimacy. Under their watch, UFC was showcased on cable pay-per-views and other cable outlets, like Fox Sports and Spike TV. White's vision for UFC is to take the fights to the masses:
If you take four street corners, and on one they are playing baseball, on another they are playing basketball and on the other, street hockey. On the fourth corner, a fight breaks out. Where does the crowd go? They all go to the fight.

Today we honor Dana White, Frank Fertitta, and Lorenzo Fertitta for their direction and innovations that made UFC a wealth creating entity.

Sources:
UFC FAQ
UFC on Wikipedia
Zuffa LLC on Wikipedia
Dana White Quotes

Dana White Interview

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