UFC boss Dana White mocks idea of PFL buying Bellator

UFC CEO Dana White thinks the idea of PFL buying Bellator is very funny.

By: Nate Wilcox | 4 weeks ago

UFC and Power Slap CEO Dana White was asked about the possibility of PFL buying Bellator last night in Las Vegas following the latest episode of The Contender series (quotes via MMA Fighting).

White was responding to reporting by Front Office Sports about PFL’s recent business moves:

“Bellator is valued at as much as $500 million in the deal, and the transaction would be primarily in cash, with Paramount receiving some equity in PFL. The two sources cautioned the deal could fall through, and it hasn’t been determined how PFL and Bellator would operate if there is a completed transaction. 

“PFL had a valuation between $500 million and $1 billion last year. That estimate was before the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund invested $100 million in PFL through its new sports investment arm, SRJ Sports Investments.”

Dana White dismisses idea of anybody buying Bellator

“Why on God’s green f*cking Earth would anybody buy Bellator?” White said following the latest installment of the UFC’s Contender Series. “So what we were just talking about with business and making the right moves and making the right decisions, there’s been lots of bad ones — Bellator would be one of the f*cking biggest.

“Why anybody would buy Bellator is beside me, but sit back and see how this plays out. I’m excited.

“Bellator’s $500 million? Awesome. Sounds like a steal,” White said. “Sounds like a f*cking steal. Buy that thing quick before who else does? Come on, you guys. It’s f*cking silly!.

“If you go in the dictionary and look up the word ‘business,’ there’s business and then there’s charity,” White said. “I’m involved in both. I run a business and I do lots of things for charity. Most of these other guys are all running charities. Not businesses. Like I said, you can only do that for so long before it runs out, it ends. So, we will see.

“When you guys ask me these kinds of questions, you ask me like this is the first time I’ve seen things like this or this is the first time somebody with money was getting involved. It’s about a lot more than money.

“One of the big things he said in there, which is absolutely false, is that they pay more than the UFC, which is absolutely positively not true,” White stated. “But I do see them waste unbelievable amounts of money. You can only waste unbelievable amounts of money for so long no matter how much money somebody has.

“They’ve also, over the last how many years, dropped billions into their infrastructure there and creating a place where they want tourists… Las Vegas is a perfect example, look at what’s happened here since sports teams have landed here. They’re making moves, they’ve got more money than probably anywhere else in the world and I get it.

“There’s either a lot of delusion or he’s uninformed. Almost everything in that statement is incorrect except for what happens in the cage determines your future. I think that’s the only right thing that he said. Good for him. Get out there. F*cking, let’s fire it up. Whatever. It’s all good.

“Listen, I’ve said this before about the PFL. I have no beef with those guys,” White said. “Those guys have always been stand-up guys and have always been classy when it comes to the business. These guys are in this to compete with us and I respect that.”

Luke Thomas on the UFC monopsony

On Morning Kombat, Brian Campbell and Luke Thomas discussed White’s response.

Campbell opened the discussion, “Don Davis isn’t backing down. He’s basically saying we’re coming after you. We’re competing. And that question from John Morgan was actually legit. Like, what if Saudi empties the truckloads of money, and becomes like the official financer of the PFL? That seems like a fair question, fair game. I get where Dana’s saying that we’ve been here before. Remember Affliction. Remember everybody. But, I don’t know if all of these everybody’s truly had the money potentially, that PFL could align themselves with? Is what Dana saying the right response?”

Luke Thomas responded, “I understand why he’s so confident. I mean, (the UFC has) 80 plus percent of the world’s best talent under lock and key. And the problem with the market that’s operating is that the firm in which (Dana White) operates has reached monopolistic status. Why would (Dana) be concerned?

“People think monopoly is a function of size. And it can be I mean, yes, quite clearly, size is a key component, but it’s just not really size, it’s size that represents control. And if you’ve got guys under contracts, and they can’t get out of it to go to another promoter, in this particular case, or another firm and other business, to go seek their opportunities, then yeah, he’s right.

“You’re just wasting money (trying to compete with the UFC). I mean, there is something to be said for this, right? Like, you know, I watched the Afflictions come and go, and the IFC’S’s come and go. And the Elite XC’s and everything else come and go, before UFC had reached monopolistic status.

“I want to be clear that the UFC at that time, was a very, very strong, active hardcore competitor, and really wanted to show like what it looks like when MMA is promoted correctly versus kind of haphazardly. They might have had similar tactics, and fighters were underpaid at that time too, (it) wasn’t utterly different. But it wasn’t quite the same environment in which we live today. And (the UFC) beat everybody, they beat everyone. So, I know that they know what they’re doing when it comes to MMA promotion.

“What’s at issue here is they have the keys to the kingdom and short of the intervention of law, no one can out-compete them and they know it, they know it. So that’s the issue,” Thomas concluded.

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About the author
Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of BloodyElbow.com. As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

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