The UFC On Top Of The World, or is it?
The virtual Kings of MMA, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, owned by Zuffa LLC could suffer as high as a 40 percent drop in profit this year due to cancelled bouts and injuries.
This apparently has shocked the Zuffa brass, the Fertida Brothers, but we know the UFC isn’t going anywhere but up! UFC profits are not something we hear mention of often, as we assume the company is doing just fine.
This week’s “The Time is Now” press conference saw Dana commenting on practice as “smart training”, likely referring to his summer scrap with Greg Jackson about why injured Jon Jones was training with Alistair Overeem. Not smart Mr Jackson.
According to Bloomberg that broke this story on UFC profits, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services issued a revised profit outlook for the UFC and said it may lower Zuffa’s BB-minus rating.
“A negative rating action could occur if we are not confident that Zuffa’s operations are recovering meaningfully by the first quarter of 2015,” S&P said today in a statement. Zuffa’s $535 million senior secured credit facility is rated BB.
As live events are a major part of the UFC’s revenue .. events like Mexico City’s UFC 180 saw Cain Velasquez withdraw, forcing a change in the line-up. An earlier event set for Los Angeles on August 2nd, was postponed after Champion Jose Aldo was hurt, and one of the UFC’s largest PPV draws Georges St-Pierre has been sidelined for all of 2014.
The S&P is also quoted as saying “International expansion costs are also crimping profit”.
But do not lose sleep my devoted fans – the UFC is here to stay. These are sensationalistic headings that describe nothing more than a succcessful business in full expansion mode. Speed Bumps!, this author.
Zuffa is controlled by brothers Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, who also run Las Vegas-based Station Casinos LLC.
Read Bloomberg’s full article UFC’s Fertitta Brothers Staggered as Injuries Hurt Profit.