Dear Frank, Lorenzo, and Dana,
As you gentlemen are fully aware, there are rumors going around that you are looking to sell the UFC for approximately $4 billion. Even though you guys are already filthy rich, this would still be a huge windfall; one that you have rightfully earned. It would open up another world of opportunity for all of you. You could immediately open more casinos, purchase a NFL team, or start some other new businesses. Long term, your grandkids’ grandkids would be set for life. It would be great.
Except for one thing: the UFC would die without you.
The faltering, near-bankrupt MMA promotion you guys bought in 2001, for $2 million, would go belly up. The last 15 years of your blood, sweat, and tears would all be for naught. When you purchased this thing, MMA was barely legal in the States, hardly televised, and had very little revenue. Only 15 years later, the richest person in China wants to give you $4 billion for it. It sounds tempting, but no one in the world can run the UFC as well as you. Basically, you did the impossible. Do not piss that away.
Look around at your previous competition, Pride, Strikeforce, and World Extreme Cagefighting; they all went under. Today, Bellator, World Series of Fighting, and Rizin are all freak show jokes that struggle to make a profit. It’s been proven time and time again, no one else in the world can successfully promote MMA like you.
There is no way a media conglomerate from China can run the UFC as well as you either. An inexperienced group of business executives can not walk into the fight game and promote it properly. Ask Donald Trump, it’s simply not that easy. Just look at how all of your competition has fared over the last decade. In short order, these buyers will make costly mistakes (like every other MMA promotion) and tarnish the legacy you created with the UFC.
For the last 15 years, despite many obstacles, you have dominated the sport. Financially, 2015 was your best year ever. 2016 is shaping up to be even better. Walking away now does not make sense. You are already rich. Do you really need another 4 billion dollars? Please, keep the UFC alive and continue to expand the sport. Millions of people, all around the world, already love your product. Sure, it’s a complicated, volatile business, requiring tons of work, but UFC can only continue to grow with your leadership and vision.
Imagine what this thing could look like in another 15 years. Aren’t you guys curious? The business is still growing. What will television rights fees look like in 2019? China is still an untapped market. There is still plenty of room for growth in the future. At this rate, you could sell it for $100 billion in another 15 years. Then, you could buy one side of the Las Vegas Strip or the entire NFL if so desired. It’s just too early for you guys to walk away. The three of you aren’t even that old yet.
Furthermore, if you sell the UFC now, it will die a slow painful death. The new owners will ruin it. You should stay in the fight game for the fighters, the fans, and yourselves. Continue to build on the legacy that you have already fostered. There’s so much more to do. Now is not the time to move on.
Please, don’t sell.