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Standard & Poors downgrades Zuffa credit rating after rough 2014

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It looks like the financial sector is paying attention to Zuffa's rougher than expected year.

Recently released UFC executive Mark Fischer.
Recently released UFC executive Mark Fischer.
Suhaimi Abdullah

It's no secret that 2014 has been a rough year for Zuffa in the PPV market. The injury woes of several major stars have sidelined many of the companies hopes for stacked "must buy" cards. It even appears that TUF 20, which was hoped to be something of a rejuvenation for the Ultimate Fighter, has largely failed to meet ratings expectations. In general, the UFC just seems to be having trouble getting viewers tuned in to their product.

As such, MMA Payout reports that Standard and Poor's, one of America's leading financial analysis companies, (most prominently known for it's stock market index, the S&P 500) has downgraded Zuffa's credit from BB to BB-. Zuffa has held steady at BB, since 2010.

In its overview, S&P concluded that Zuffa "will experience a 30% decline in EBITDA (Earnings Before Income Tax, Depreciation and Amortization) in 2014 and greater EBITDA volatility over time than we previously had anticipated." Despite the gloomy outlook, it stated that Zuffa's outlook is stable and 2015 will be a recovery year for the company. This is based on the belief that injured fighters return and PPV buys and ticket prices increase.

From the sound of it, things are expected to improve or at least stay the same for next year, so this isn't quite a note of impending disaster, but it is more definitive proof, that 2014 has not been a good year for the UFC.