A few months ago, it was confirmed that the UFC had been sold for a record-setting $4.2 billion to a group of investors led by talent agency WME-IMG. Obviously, based on the price at which the company was sold, the UFC is a very lucrative promotion, and the new owners would potentially be reaping the benefits for years to come.
However, it could also be argued that the Fertitta brothers, the previous owners of the UFC, escaped at the right time. In other words, WME-IMG may have purchased the promotion with a laundry list of problems they may not have been fully aware of. Let’s take a look at six reasons why the new owners are walking into a hornet’s nest:
A Potential Fighters’ Union
In recent years, fighter treatment and fighter pay have become growing issues within the UFC. Given that fighters are technically ‘independent contractors’, however, they don’t have much say in these areas, and the UFC has been able to hold a death grip and express its power in a system that seems to benefit the promotion much more than the fighters.
That could change if a fighters union were to come to fruition, however, and the talks of such a union forming have increased in recent memory. In fact, just this past August longtime baseball agent Jeff Borris announced that he would be attempting to unionize fighters through the creation of the Professional Fighters Association.
If Borris can indeed spearhead this idea, the UFC may be forced to change the tactics that have made it such a lucrative promotion for years. If fighters were represented correctly and unionized, they would likely demand better pay and better conditions.