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Zuffa and Xyience

Over at Sherdog, MMAPayout.com editor Adam Swift has an interesting piece detailing the troubles of the nutrition company in the wake of news by Dave Meltzer that none other than the Fertitta brothers are bankrolling the flagging operation. Notable quote:

A relationship between Xyience and Zuffa that runs much deeper than advertising and sponsorship agreements has long been speculated though not acknowledged. However, this week in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer released a non-sourced report that said UFC owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta were responsible for Xyience's recent multi-million dollar funding.

When asked for comment on the source of funding and specifically about the Fertittas' and Dana White's involvement in Xyience, the Las Vegas-based sports nutrition company, through a public relations representative, told Sherdog.com that the money was provided "by a private group of local strategic investors. Company policy is to not comment on the specific individuals that participated in a round of funding."

Requests for comment from the UFC went unanswered.

The Fertittas' reported involvement in Xyience could raise eyebrows in light of reports that several high-profile UFC fighters recently severed ties with the company, saying it failed to honor the financial terms of endorsement deals, and news of possible supplement contamination.

This relationship becomes troubling when you read that Sean Sherk, Matt Hughes, Rich Franklin, Chuck Liddell and others (Drew Fickett has publicly voiced his opinion as well) have not been compensated for endorsement deals and have subsequently ended their relationship with the nutrition company. Given that White is eager to remind the free world that he is the "friend" of UFC fighters, to allow a relationship to continue with a company with paper-trailed history of stiffing fighters seems awfully strange.

Without delving too far into idle speculation, I'd just add that if the Fertitta brothers are the investors behind Zuffa, this will add fuel to the suspicions that White and the entire Zuffa enterprise are knee-deep in duplicity by not embracing transparency when it comes to financial matters. The IFL stock may be worth pennies, but at least they've got nothing to hide.