Here's how a potential UFC sale could help an NFL team land in Vegas
NFL fans might want to start paying attention to the business side of UFC.
NFL fans might want to start paying closer attention to the business side of UFC, because if that company gets sold, it could bring the NFL one step closer to putting a team in Las Vegas.
UFC majority owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta are reportedly looking to sell at least part of the company, and it's very possible that they're planning to use that money to make a run at buying an NFL team.
According to ESPN.com, several companies are looking to buy the UFC at a price of about $4 billion.
In an interview with Jim Rome, UFC president Dana White disputed the accuracy of that report.
"The reports that came out were not very accurate at all," White said on the Jim Rome Show. "Obviously we're a business, we're always doing business, we're always trying to grow the sport and take it to the next level, and we're always working on deals, and as far being sold, people make us offers all the time. So we've turned downed some pretty big offers."
Although White denied that the company was for sale, he didn't deny anything when he was asked this week if only part of the company might be for sale.
"Obviously, if I'm in the middle of a deal right now, there's a lot of confidentiality involved in it," White told the Dan Patrick Show. "We're working on expanding. We're working on growing the company and moving it to other territories like China, Japan and Korea."
The Fertitta brothers have an 81 percent stake in UFC, so if they only sold half of that, they'd make some serious money if the company is valued at $4 billion.
Now, let's get to the NFL part of this. ESPN's Darren Rovell said on Tuesday that he wouldn't be surprised if the Fertittas tried to buy a piece of the Raiders with their money from a potential UFC sale.
Although White's been shooting down rumors all week, he didn't exactly shoot that one down when Rome asked him on Friday if the brothers would be interested in buying an NFL team.
"It is 100 percent a fact they are hardcore football fans, and I promise you one day the Fertitta brothers will own an NFL football team, no doubt about it," White said.
Of course, White did point out that the Fertittas would have to sell their stake in the Vegas casinos that they currently own.
"You can't own an NFL team if you're involved with casinos. So, if they were really making a serious move with the Raiders, they'd be selling Station Casinos, not the UFC," White said.
If the Fertittas were to make a run at buying a piece of the Raiders, it's a move that several other NFL owners might find encouraging. According to Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been trying to get Mark Davis to sell his controlling interest in the the Raiders for years.
Apparently, Jones feels that Davis "is incapable of maximizing revenues and the brand, creating value for the team and league, improving the league or advancing its goals or agenda in general."
Basically, Jones seems to think that Davis has no business acumen.
If Davis were to sell a stake of the Raiders to the Fertitta brothers, that would put the team into the hands of two entrepreneurs who know how to maximize revenues in the Vegas market. After all, the two brothers only paid $2 million for their original stake in UFC, and that stake is now worth billions.
If the Fertittas bought in, it would give the Raiders an entrepreneurial addition to their ownership that they're sorely lacking. Davis wouldn't have to sell the team, he'd just let the Fertitta brothers buy a stake. With them on board, NFL owners might be more inclined to vote for a Raiders move.
As for White, he knows the Vegas market well, and he thinks an NFL team would thrive in Sin City.
"I think it's a home run," White said. "Growing up a Boston guy, there's nothing better than growing up and being a Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots, Bruins fan. You are a fan of all these teams. We've never had that in Vegas. I think it's the one thing that I think Vegas lacks, and I think if the Raiders or any other NFL team came here, it would be huge."
White did mention this week that the Fertitta brothers wouldn't be interested in buying an NFL team "right now," but that doesn't mean it won't happen.
If the Raiders move to Vegas, a move wouldn't happen until 2019 at the earliest, which would give the brothers plenty of time to finalize a potential UFC sale and make Davis an offer he can't refuse.
Pick Six Newsletter
Get the day's big stories + fun stuff you love like mock drafts, picks and power rankings.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
McKenzie was fired in December after nearly seven years in Oakland
One of the passengers in the car suffered serious, but not life-threatening injuries
Brown took questions on Twitter on Saturday and addressed his trade request
Brown says Roethlisberger has an 'owner mentality' and thinks he can criticize anybody
Walton got in an argument with a couple at his Miami condo, according to police
Jeffery Simmons, Jaylon Ferguson and Preston Williams apparently won't be completely shut out...