After the UFC bought the #2 MMA promotion in the world, Strikeforce, the monopoly talk rightly began. With Strikeforce gone there isn’t even a name I could give you as to whom the new #2 company is. The result?
- Fighters are being paid more than ever before.
- The UFC has just rolled out a new health care package that will pay for medical costs and treatments required for injuries sustained during training camps. (Previously they only paid for injuries that occurred while fighting).
- Dream match ups that were never before possible due to promotions unwillingness to co-promote have already begun. Champion vs Champion matches such as GSP vs Diaz and Alistair Overeem vs Brock Lesnar have already been announced.
- More fights will be televised and hosted in more venues around the world, so consumers have a greater supply of the product they love.
- Network deal with FOX has been announced. In addition to a total increase in number of available shows, an increase in the number of free or non-PPV UFC cards are now available.
- As the UFC brand expands globally, the fighters benefit in many more ways in addition to all time record high salaries and bonuses that they are paid directly from the UFC. Increased awareness results in more sponsorship dollars, greater opportunities to sell books, star in commercials, open your own gym (Xtreme Couture etc.) and so forth. One prominent examples of this is the recent Nike endorsement of Anderson Silva that is worth several million dollars.
- The UFC itself becomes richer, profits rise, expands globally and thus boosts economic activity and creates more jobs.
All we are waiting for now is the US anti-trust division to break up this giant consumer-hating monopoly and the story will be complete!
Update: Several months after this blog post, an anti-trust investigation into the UFC was indeed launched. Thankfully, it was dismissed. This was my reaction to that investigation: http://robertfellner.blogspot.com/2012/01/on-monopolies-and-getting-your-fair.html