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The real difference betwen the UFC and boxing promoters – monopoly power

The primary purpose of a business is to make money. I have no problem with that. But, when I saw this quote from Dana White, it got got my attention:

Fighters can make more money here or there, but the UFC is the place to create your legacy,” White said. “Fifty years from now, people are going to ask who was the best ever and the UFC has the best fighters.

After reading Dana’s quote, I could not help but to think back to an article I quoted on this site in July 2006:

“You can be a boxing fan and a UFC fan at the same time,” White said. “The problem with boxing, in my opinion, is all the powers in boxing have done nothing to secure the future of the sport. Guys like Don King and Bob Arum, they don’t care about the future of boxing. All they care about is how much money can I put in my pocket right here and right now.”

Of course, a huge difference between Ultimate Fighting Championship and boxing is that there are not as many pockets to fill. There are no Don Kings, no promoters, no sanctioning bodies like the World Boxing Council and the various other entities that get a piece of everything — the people who often produce mismatched fights and padded records in an effort to protect their boxers.

In reality there is one essential fact that explains the between the UFC’s approach and the approach of boxing promoters – the UFC enjoys virtual monopoly power. The UFC has no serious competition, and acts as both the promoter and championship sanctioning body. Meanwhile, boxing promoters have to compete with each other and deal with multiple sanctioning bodies.

Certainly, the UFC is just as greedy as any boxing promoter. It just had the single greatest year of PPV buys in the history of the world, and its president responded by saying that fighters should take a pay cut if they want the privilege of fighting for the organization.

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