Fertitta: 11 of last 14 main events fell out

by Lance Pugmire | source: latimes.com
 

UFC chairman Lorenzo Fertitta Fertitta addresses his company's future with Lance Pugmire of the LA Times.

Lance Pugmire: In addition to your Fox debut, you're building another star in Jones, and now have Brock returning. A good start for your second decade?

Lorenzo Fertitta: "Yes, but our biggest issue lately has been 11 of our last 14 main events have fallen out and required replacement fighters. It's like there's been a hex over us. So it's been a challenge to run the business how we've planned to. Forcing to shuffle in guys, re-scramble … it takes the steam out of your sails. It helped having the Fox card in there, and, listen, we're still kicking ass by not cancelling shows like boxing would. If we get a stroke of luck with good health here, we're off to the races."

LP: How did you make the Fox deal happen?

LF: "We didn't have to do a thing. We were like the pretty girl at the dance. We had every major media company talking to us to obtain our rights from our expiring deal at Spike. In the age of the DVR and things like Hulu, when you can watch any show any time you want, sports is really the one asset that's must-see live television. I know it's rare that a brand like Fox just jumps right in to something, but they wanted us, and we got a deal done over a weekend."

LP: The most valuable player of baseball is dealing with a positive test for performance-enhancing drugs. Your sport has been affected by use. How do you address this in a firm way?

LF: "We do a whole program with our fighters, bring in the [Drug Enforcement Agency] to lecture them about the dangers of PEDs. We urge commissions to adopt random testing — at anytime within 48 hours, they have to provide a sample. If a guy knows he's only getting tested before and after a fight, it's easy to manipulate. To me, that's the weakness of other sports, like with the NFL players running from HGH testing. If you encourage testing, embrace it, there's significantly less perception that you have a safety or credibility issue."

LP: What stands between your sport and full mainstream sports acceptance?

LF: "Sports media — newspapers — have been late to the party. It's a bit like what happened with NASCAR. This is what people want. So it's just a matter of time before these editors realize we have the attention of Generation X and Generation Y. We are the main sport online. That said, I do believe we're completely accepted as a major sport in the U.S. I still get the past stigmas when I go to other countries, but we're past that here now."

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Recent Comments »

JeffersonDArcyChoke site profile image  

12/20/11 12:01 AM by JeffersonDArcyChoke

Dana is the UFC just like Brock is the best fighter. Realistically it's Lorenzo and Silva/Jones. But you need Dana and Brock to lure the rubes in.

French Fries Malone site profile image  

12/19/11 10:42 PM by French Fries Malone

That is totally the guy with the spliff in behind the just bleed guy!

Sephiroth site profile image  

12/19/11 8:47 PM by Sephiroth

 Ufc has had an absolutely awful stretch of injuries this year. Look at all the fighters affected by injury this year and who have missed significant time. Cain Velasquez- 1 fight Brock Lesnar 1 fight Gsp 1 fight Anderson Silva 2 fights Chael sonnen 1 fight Rashad Evans 1 fight Frankie Edgar 1 fight Gray Maynard 1 fight They've also only had 11 title fights from their combined champions Hw title fights- 1 Cain vs JDS Lhw title fights- Jones vs Shogun, Jones vs Rampage and Machida Mw title fights- Anderson vs Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami WW title fights Gsp vs Jake Shields Lw title fights Frankie Edgar vs Gray Maynard Fw title fights Jose Aldo vs Mark Hominick and Kenny Florian Bw title fights Dominick Cruz vs Urijah Faber and Demetrious Johnson Also their 3 biggest grudge matches in Gsp vs Diaz, Jones vs Rashad and Anderson vs Chael all were postponed because of injury.

CindyO site profile image  

12/19/11 8:18 PM by CindyO

 Dayum! I didn't realize it was so many. Cindy

Gullivers Travels site profile image  

12/19/11 6:32 PM by Gullivers Travels

I thought the same thing, but that then prevents you from making other fights. If fighter A is told he might be a replacement for fighter B in November, and they have another fight to fill in December or January, do you keep fighter A on the sidelines or do you book him for a fight and let him get a full camp in, or do you hope no one gets hurt and reschedule if need be?

HungryHungryHobo site profile image  

12/19/11 6:05 PM by HungryHungryHobo

 IMO he's responsible for more than we're led to believe. 

SOO72 site profile image  

12/19/11 5:43 PM by SOO72

I think it's best to have wind in your sails opposed to steam. Seriously though, why isn't this guy the face of his own company instead of that douche dress-up thug DFW?

Thacommish site profile image  

12/19/11 5:30 PM by Thacommish

maybe this testing crap is old because the same people have been stressing the same issues and problems with the already put in place drug testing for years, and with reactions like yours to the idea of reforming them, its no wonder why there hasnt been any changes made. Its not your money going to it, it hardly takes any time away from a fighter to piss in a cup (assuming they all do that naturally anyway) wtf is the big inconvenience here? how could you possibly be against any type of reform here it blows my mind. to be fair to you though its alot easier to say these things from a chair when you actually arent the one being beat up by a raging steroid monkey.

caposa site profile image  

12/19/11 4:05 PM by caposa

 lets see if the 2011 UFC Main Event Curse continues into 2012, I hope Reem passes that those tests 1/22 - Fight  For The Troops 2 - Florian injured 3/19 - UFC 128 - Evans injured 3/26 - Fight Night 24 - Tito injured 5/28 - UFC 130 - Edgar and Maynard injured 6/11 - UFC 131 - Lesnar out 6/26 - UFC on Versus 4 - AJ injured, Marquardt cut 8/6 - UFC 133 - Jones injured, Davis injured 10/29 - UFC 137 - Diaz out against GSP, Diaz in against Penn, GSP out against Condit 11/19 - UFC 139 - Velasquez/Dos Santos moved to UFC on FOX 1 12/10 - UFC 140 - Jones/Evans scrapped again due to injury

topshelf720 site profile image  

12/19/11 4:04 PM by topshelf720

you forgot #2: You might get caught twice.