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Zuffa, LLC is an American sports promotion company specializing in mixed martial arts. It was founded in January 2001 in Las Vegas, Nevada by Station Casinos executives Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta to be the parent entity of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) after they purchased it from the Semaphore Entertainment Group. Lorenzo Fertitta is the company’s CEO and Chairman while Dana White runs the day-to-day operations.[1]

Zuffa is credited by many for turning around the UFC and increasing the status of mixed martial arts in the United States from one with a limited audience and regional competitions to a multi-million dollar enterprise with millions of viewers and internationally popular events.Template:Citation needed

The word "Zuffa" is an Italian word, meaning "brawl," "scuffle" or "fight with no rules". [2]

HistoryEdit

On December 11, 2006, Zuffa acquired the assets of the World Fighting Alliance, and formed WFA Enterprises, LLC. as a subsidiary to handle these assets, including select fighter contracts. [3] On the same day, it was reported that Zuffa was formalizing plans to buy World Extreme Cagefighting, to be run as a separate promotion from the UFC.

On March 27, 2007, it was announced that Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta were acquiring the assets of PRIDE Fighting Championships, the UFC's largest rival, from Dream Stage Entertainment. To handle the take over, the Fertitta brothers created a new corporate entity to handle the assets, Pride FC Worldwide Holdings LLC. With common ownership in place, Zuffa and Pride Worldwide would be working closely together.[4][5] Although goals of reviving PRIDE were not realized, many of PRIDE's assets, including contracts with fighters and intellectual property, are now regularly utilized by the UFC.

On January 12, 2010, Zuffa sold a minority interest in the company to Flash Entertainment. The company announced the completion of a deal in which a 10-percent interest in the company to the Abu Dhabi government-owned Flash Entertainment. With the sale, company ownership would be 40.5 percent held by Lorenzo Fertitta, the company’s CEO and Chairman, 40.5 percent held by his older brother, Frank Fertitta III, 10 percent by Flash Entertainment and 9 percent by Dana White.[1] Flash Entertainment was formed in 2008 by the Abu Dhabi government’s Executive Affairs Authority.

MMA regulationEdit

The current rules used in the UFC were first established by the New Jersey Athletic Control Board in 2000, in consultation with the UFC and other MMA promotions in the United States. [6] The first UFC event under the new rules was UFC 28, held before Zuffa's takeover. New Jersey's Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts has since been established throughout the country by other state athletic commissions, including Nevada and California.[6] The UFC has however kept close ties with state commissions, especially the Nevada State Athletic Commission, of which Lorenzo Fertitta was a former board member.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Minority interest sold in UFC parent company. Yahoo! Sports (January 12, 2010). Retrieved on 2010-01-12.
  2. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/zuffa
  3. http://www.ufc.com/index.cfm?fa=news.detail&gid=3959
  4. http://web.archive.org/20070517121344/www.mmaweekly.com/absolutenm/templates/dailynews.asp?articleid=3053&zoneid=13
  5. http://msn.foxsports.com/other/story/6614284
  6. 6.0 6.1 http://www.state.nj.us/lps/sacb/docs/martial.html
  7. http://www.ufc.com/index.cfm?fa=LearnUFC.FactSheet

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