Hello SOTGC Community,
Your office is likely buzzing about UFC or even the show Ultimate Fighter. Maybe you’ve never heard of it or simply don’t care to watch a sport that involves blood and ring girls. You may not be a super fan, but you should be a fan of the determination and vision that took this organization from a floundering company to a globally recognized brand.
Before we dive into the true vision of the business success story that is UFC, here’s a little background on the sport. UFC stands for Ultimate Fighting Championship. MMA refers to the sport, just like football or baseball, and UFC is the organization, like the NFL is to football. On the surface it may appear that Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is only a brawl, pure violence but that is a misconception. It is sport of strategy, fought in the octagon (the ring), that is made up of many different disciplines including, but not limited to, boxing, judo, muy thai, jiu jitsu and wrestling.
Now that you have some UFC knowledge under your belt, here’s how you can use UFC to join the conversation in the office and accomplish your goals.
- Strike while the iron is hot. Similar to buying a stock when it’s reached rock bottom, Dana White, now UFC President, saw an opportunity to buy a struggling UFC franchise back in 2001. He pitched his idea and vision to high school buddies and Las Vegas casino owners, the Fertitta brothers. They backed the deal and the trio bought it for $2 million.
- Determination is key. They say trust your gut and these guys did just that. Along the way, there were naysayers but the trio set their eyes on the prize. One big hurdle was to have the rules and regulations approved by athletic commissions across U.S. and around the world. This was pertinent to host fights in each location. It took 14 years but this year they were given the green light in New York, the last state approval needed in the U.S.
- Never say never. In 2011 president Dana White said that women would never fight in UFC. The following year he saw Ronda Rousey fight for a competing organization and she dominated. Fast forward to 2013, where Rousey not only fought for the UFC but won while uppercutting the glass ceiling. She is now one of the most notable UFC fighters in the octagon and stars in commercials, movies (she is the love interest of Turtle in the Entourage movie) and an author. Whether it’s the boardroom or the octagon, women shouldn’t be cast aside. Give us some room – we’re taking over.
- Keep an eye on the prize. The company hit a landmark this month by televising UFC 200; their 200th pay-per-view fight (which was headlined by two women fighters). They also signed a deal to sell the organization to WME-IMG group worth a reported $4 billion. Their vision, hard work and determination paid off.
Step into the octagon – you’re worth fighting for.
At Last Night’s Game we love empowering women to talk sports in the boardroom, at a cocktail party or on a date. Subscribe to The Rundown, our free triweekly publication, for a sampling of sports; consider it a tasting menu of current key sports highlights. Don’t be shy – email us your sports queries and bewilderments –firstname.lastname@example.org.