#UFC 218 #Conor McGregor #Francis Ngannou #UFC 217 #Alistair Overeem #Max Holloway #Lomachenko vs Rigondeaux #Mike Perry #GSP

The Ultimate Fighting Championship wasn’t always a multi-billion dollar business. Before it began making solid profits in 2005, the Las Vegas-based fight promotion was heavily in debt and on the verge of going under. A canceled event, or wrong business decision could have been the organization’s demise in the first four years under Zuffa, LLC ownership.

On September 27, 2002 the UFC held an event, UFC 39, at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. A heavyweight title fight between Randy Couture and Ricco Rodriguez headlined the fight card. Rodriguez defeated Couture, but nearly caused the event to be canceled by the Mohegan Sun and put the future of the UFC in peril.

In 2002, mixed martial arts was not a mainstream sport.  Fighters were not paid like they are today and the fight promotion didn’t generate the revenue it currently enjoys from television deals, pay-per-view and ticket sales, gyms, and merchandise. 

Fighters were looking for ways to earn more than just a fight purse.  It was a time when Condom Depot could be seen plastered on the trunks of fighters and TapOut logos were a fixture.  Sponsors paid the athletes to wear their t-shirts, hats, to put their logo on a banner that hang behind them during introductions and on their fight shorts.  Rodriguez took it a step further.  He got a temporary tattoo on his back advertising Golden Palace online casino.      

“Everybody knew that because we were at a casino, you couldn’t have a casino sponsor, and that’s the time that Golden Palace and all that stuff was doing that. And what does this (expletive) idiot do? Forget a t-shirt, he goes out and tattoos it on his back. Right? He gets a tattoo,” explained UFC president Dana White during an appearance on Real Quick with Mike Swick podcast.

“So what happened was, the tribe there, the tribe said ‘we’re shutting down the show. We’re not having it.’ It was the main event. So Lorenzo (Fertitta) and I got in a room with these guys and worked it out with them but he almost shut down the show. Back in those days, a show getting shut down like that could’ve put us outta business,” said White. 

“You gotta understand, when we do those things, we’re fronting all the money. We’re putting up a couple million bucks and fronting all this money to put on a show. And if these guys would’ve shut that show down that might have been the end of us,” added the UFC president. 

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.


Show Comments

Related News

Dana White Explains Why Deal with Netflix Fell Through |

  • 25 days ago

UFC president Dana White had a hit on his hands last year with his new reality series "Lookin' For a Fight" where he traveled around the world searching for the next crop of fighters to compete insid read news >>

Dana White Has No Regrets Allowing Michael Bisping a Quick Return After GSP Loss |

  • 16 days ago

UFC president Dana White explains how Michael Bisping could be allowed to fight just three weeks removed from a third-round loss to Georges St-Pierre. read news >>

Dana White Recaps the UFC 218: Holloway vs. Aldo 2 Event |

  • 12 days ago

UFC president Dana White recaps the UFC 218: Holloway vs. Aldo 2 night of fights from backstage at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit after the event. read news >>

Dana White, UFC Fighters Rush to Support Keaton Jones, Whose Bullying Video Went Viral |

  • 4 days ago

UFC president Dana White and several UFC fighters immediately lent their support to Keaton Jones, a young boy whose bullying video went viral. read news >>

Dana White: 'No Way' Brian Ortega Jumps Over Frankie Edgar as No. 1 Contender |

  • 3 days ago

UFC president Dana White was very impressed by Brian Ortega's performance on Saturday night where he tapped out top five-ranked contender Cub Swanson with a second round guillotine choke. The win kep read news >>

Dana White Addresses Tae Hyun Bang Fight-Fixing Scandal |

  • 16 days ago

UFC president Dana White commented on the fight fixing scheme that landed Tae Hyun Bang a 10-month prison sentence. read news >>

Dana White Addresses Rumor That Conor McGregor Hit a Mobster |

  • 16 days ago

UFC president Dana White held a media scrum on Tuesday, where he addressed rumors that Conor McGregor punched a mobster in a bar brawl. read news >>

What's Next for Georges St-Pierre? Dana White Weighs In |

  • 16 days ago

UFC president Dana White on Tuesday addressed what's next for new middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre. read news >>

Dana White Doesn't Believe Nick Diaz Will Ever Fight Again... but What About Nate? |

  • 15 days ago

UFC president Dana White doesn't believe that Nick Diaz will ever step foot in the Octagon again. read news >>

Dana White: Demetrious Johnson vs. TJ Dillashaw Not Announced, but Will Happen |

  • 12 days ago

UFC president Dana White on Saturday night said the proposed superfight between Demetrious Johnson and TJ Dillashaw is going to happen. read news >>