UFC Cuts Ties w/ 13 Fighters, Terminates Executives
Bob Dylan’s famous line, “Oh, the times they are a changin'” can now be applied to the world leader in mixed martial arts, the UFC. The changes have been expected for some time with the sale of the UFC from Zuffa, LLC to WME-IMG for $4.2 billion in July.
The information in above headline comes on the heels of the announcement that Vice President of Public Relations Dave Sholler would be leaving the UFC to return to his native east coast to work with the Philadelphia 76ers. Matchmaker Joe Silva also announced after the sale that his retirement would come possibly before the end of 2016. Earlier this week the organization also said goodbye to “under 15 percent” of its workforce.
Sherdog.com reported yesterday that according to veteran MMA reporter Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com, “approximately 80 percent of the UFC’s Canadian office has been let go, and half of the UFC Asia team. Virtually every Vice President or General Manager of a UFC regional office was let go, including former Manchester City exec Garry Cook (and Chief Content Officer Marshall Zelaznik) one of the most celebrated signings in Zuffa history, fighters included, and the man whose name was floated as a possible UFC presidential replacement under WME-IMG if White opted to bow out of the company. “…WME-IMG [is] taking on $1.8 billion in Zuffa debt.”
The new ownership has now started to trim down the organization’s massive roughly 500-600 person roster as reported by other outlets. Brazilian big-name Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (1-6-1 since 2013) entered free agency after fighting out his contract last month with the both parties involved choosing not to ink a new deal.
They then parted ways with 12 other lesser-known names as well.
Leonardo Augusto ‘Leleco’ Guimaraes
The UFC does not appear to be in any trouble (if it can be bought for just over $4 billion, $1.8 billion in debt will eventually be taken care of) as cuts were expected at some point as part of the changing of the guard.