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What people are saying about the UFC’s big announcement

 

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Since UFC President Dana White’s proclamation in an ESPN.com interview that he was going to make a huge announcement on Thursday, the rumor mill has been spinning overtime. Everyone is trying to coax something out of their sources. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve called. Nobody has heard anything concrete, but most insiders believe that a sale of some sort pertaining to the UFC is a part of the announcement, but that White will continue to serve as the promotion’s president.

However, it’s important to note that the above possibility is purely speculation. Nobody has anything concrete. But until Thursday comes, our imaginations will be allowed to run wild. Below is a sampling of what other people are speculating the announcement will be:

MMARated.com, a site that has been breaking some big stories lately, looks at a few possibilities, but has a source saying the following:

Zuffa has sold the UFC to FOX: Ah yes, the big (and most logical) one which comes to us from a reliable source. We’ve heard the UFC on FOX rumors for quite some time and we’ve also heard the rumors that the promotion was on sale. We also know that the UFC was not willing to work with a network unless they had full production control. However, what if a network bought them for a hefty price? Then, all of a sudden, that issue is, well, an non-issue. The bottom line is that this is the kind of announcement you rent a secret location for.

Of course, there’s this report from the always reliable MediaTakeout.com (sarcasm, please):

MediaTakeOut.com has just caught word of an EARTH SHAKING rumor. According to a number of sources within the UFC, Floyd Mayweather is set to be the first big name boxer to sign on as a mixed martial arts fighter.

One UFC insider, who asked to remain nameless, told MediaTakeOut.com that the reported deal will net Floyd more than $200 million in cash and equity in teh UFC. Word is that the deal will be announced at a press conference set for this Thursday.

And then there is this fun unconfirmed rumor from a poster on the forums at MixedMartialArts.com:

From a very reliable source, rumor has it that a group of investors led by Dana White have agreed in principle to purchase the UFC from Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta for an undisclosed amount. Included in this investment group is WWE’s Vince McMahon who will now own a minority stake in the company. They also have plans on taking the company public by years end.

At the press conference also expect Dana to announce that with the help of McMahon, who has extensive connections in the New York State Athletic Commission, they were able to get the UFC sanctioned in New York, and plan on having a show sometime in the winter at Madison Square Garden. That is all I have right now.

MMAPayout is now adding the following:

MMAPayout.com has learned that financial giant Morgan Stanley has reportedly been working on a collaborative/financial deal between Zuffa and another party… Sources have told MMAPayout.com that a significant licensing deal may be part of the planned announcement. Licensing and merchandising has long been identified as a major untapped revenue stream for the UFC. Adding even more intrigue is WWE’s rumored involvement in the deal. The WWE also has a press conference scheduled for Thursday.

Whatever it is, it better be good.

17 COMMENTS
  • GoofyMonkey says:

    A sale of some sort seems most logical here. What other kind of announcement warrants a meeting with all the staff first and then a public announcement to follow. Somehow I can’t see a network purchasing a promotion without testing the waters of mma on broadcast TV a little more, and the UFC going public just seems odd for some reason. I think it will be a private investor(s) that are going to purchase it.

  • Evan says:

    One day TV was certain, next Floyd, now sale/merge. Who knows.

  • NYJB says:

    If White is on the CNBC show with Lesnar, so perhaps it has something to do with the WWE. The WWE is losing money and McMahon is certainly not blind to the fact that they are losing a lot of ppv’s to the UFC. An investment in the UFC by McMahon is very possible.

  • Seth says:

    DC101 this morning announced that Mayweather had signed with the UFC and would have partial equity. They didn’t site a source so who knows how credible it is.

  • Jason says:

    I love how all these different possible scoops come from “reliable sources”.
    It has to be a sale of some sort, Dana has always come clean about the fact that they are/will field any offers.

  • cyph says:

    I don’t know about the WWE deal. However, the claim that somehow McMahon can get MMA sanctioned in NYC is false. MMA is not only not sanctioned but it is banned there. Nothing short of legislation can overturn that ban. The latest MMA can be shown in NY is 2009. Furthermore, the guy who posted that rumor is a known UFC hater.

    If he’s right about the WWE deal, then he just got lucky by deducing that the concurrent WWE press conference has something to do with it.

  • Kuch says:

    Dana is going to announce the UFC has established a working relationship with Affliction, to include inter-promotional fights and co-promoted events.

    He said the announcement would affect MMA for 5 years – I think this announcement would do just that.

  • The BIG announcement is……..

    Dana just saved alot of money by switching to Geico!

  • cyph says:

    Ariel from MMARated.com has shot the WWE rumor to shreds:

    “UPDATE #2: WWE announcer Jim Ross just announced on tonight’s edition of “Monday Night RAW” that Thursday’s press conference is about WWE’s million dollar contest giveaway. Thank heavens. It appears as though we’ve dodged that bullet…for now.

    UPDATE #1: I just spoke to a member of the WWE’s PR department and they assured me that there is no truth to this rumor. Again, Thursday can’t come soon enough.”

  • mike wolfe says:

    Some sort of sale, partial sale, or merger would explain the absence of any insider information. The civil penalties under federal and state securities laws can be ginormous.

  • woooburn says:

    posted this on the cnbc feature, might as well stick it here as well:

    http://forums.mmajunkie.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2340

  • Evan says:

    Can’t wait to see what tomorrow’s rumor is…probably Steve Jobs buying them and individual MMA iPhone’s.

  • woooburn says:

    ha, well they DID release new iphone’s yesterday, so it MUST be connected!

    however, i wouldnt be surprised to see individual ufc fights available for download in the itunes store, or entire events available live on wireless devices (and online) at some point in the future. if we think about where people will be getting their media five years down the road, it’s something to consider.

  • Evan says:

    “well they DID release new iphone’s yesterday, so it MUST be connected!”

    SEE?!?!?!?!? There we have it!!!!!!!

  • Rob says:

    Why has no one mentioned a deal with Yahoo or another internet giant. Apple maybe? Downloadable UFC matches on your phone or IPOD? Yahoo has been making a big sports push stealing great writers away from other sites. I think that UFC streamed on the net is the future. If Dana wants to go global, what better way to do it. NBC, CBS are not global

  • bjjdenver says:

    This entire fiasco cracks me up.

    from Mayweather, to WWE to being broadcast on Toon Disney.

    And of course dana denies everything. What do people expect, if somebody guesses the announcement correctly, he is just going to say “Yup, that’s it!”??

    I have no idea what it will be, but I am guessing a TV partnership with possible interest in the UFC offered. Either that or a huge venture with someone like Nike.

    All I know for sure, is we will probably all be disappointed after these wild theories.

  • Eoin says:

    I heard a rumor that Golden Boy will have some involvement in MMA in the near future. Any connection?

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