Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard news of Joe Silva’s pending departure from the UFC, Dave Sholler accepting a role with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, and Giovani Decker leaving his post as the UFC’s head man in Brazil. All of this has come on the heels of the UFC’s $4 billion sale to WME-IMG, and there will be many more changes on the horizon.
MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani reports that a slew of layoffs have been made (and will continue to be made) by the UFC.
According to multiple sources, the UFC is laying off a significant amount of their employees. Those sources estimated approximately 60-80 employees would be fired.
A UFC official confirmed to MMAFighting.com that layoffs were in fact taking place but stopped short at revealing more. "It was less than 15 percent of our workforce," the official stated.
Helwani’s article also noted that “high-ranking executives” were also let go, although no specifics were revealed. MMAjunkie has since reported that Ken Berger (UFC executive VP and GM of Asia), Marshall Zelaznik (Chief Content Officer), Garry Cook (Chief Global Brand Officer), and Jamie Pollack (UFC Senior Vice President of Global Content) are some of the higher profile names who have been laid off.
Per MMAjunkie’s column, WME-IMG’s goal is “to eliminate redundancies in operations,” and that “those include jobs in sponsorships, licensing, public relations and production, though industry sources said no international offices will be closed and the promotion’s event schedule won’t be affected.”
The structural changes in the UFC in a post-Zuffa world continue to be a major story, and it includes many of the more familiar and longtime names within the UFC ranks. What remains to be seen is whether or not we’ll soon be seeing a similar reduction of fighters on the roster.