Many have argued that the golden age of MMA has come and gone, but UFC Chairman and CEO, Lorenzo Fertitta, doesn’t think that’s the case.
Although the UFC receives more mainstream coverage than ever, and holds a ton of shows annually around the globe, the argument’s been floated MMA’s not growing. The proponents of this theory argue pay-per-view buys and ratings have levelled off, and that casual fans have lost interest.
Well, recently the UFC held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new headquarters in Las Vegas, and Fertitta was on hand. When he was asked about the argument that MMA is stagnating, the ZUFFA exec said this (quote via MMA Junkie.com):
“How anybody can say that the sport is stagnating doesn’t make any sense,” Fertitta said. “We’re coming off of a record year. We just did an event down in Melbourne with 57,000 people headlined by four women where we’re leading the way for women in sports. We’re continuing to do things to raise the bar, whether it be production, we’re taking the events and opening new markets. It’s far from stagnating.”
There’s no doubt that UFC 193 was huge, and the promotion has had some big, big fights this year thanks to new stars like Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor (and Fertitta also cited the popularity of both of these fighters, while arguing the sport’s doing just fine). The promotion is closing out the campaign with UFC 194, which is expected to add some serious cash to the company coffers.
It seems like it’s one of those questions where the response you receive depends on who you ask. Whether MMA has levelled off or not, it certainly seems like it’s here to stay in the mainstream.