MMA icon Frank Shamrock has had a contentious relationship with the UFC for years, and has often been very outspoken about how they handle their affairs. He’s often been mostly at odds with UFC president Dana White during the Zuffa era, but there has been far less friction in recent years.
In a recent interview with Submission Radio, Shamrock was asked what his thoughts were regarding whether or not the timing of the UFC sale was at the most prudent time. As usual, Shamrock had no reservations regarding how he viewed the situation.
(Beginning at ~16:22 mark)
“Hundred percent. You know, the discord is coming, the regulation is coming, the government oversight is coming. So yeah, that’s the time to get out. The brand’s had a great run, it’s built up. The girl’s beautiful globally, no one knows what it’s really like. Perfect time to get out. I mean, I applaud their business. They’re great business men. I knew they would be super successful with it, but at the same time, I want to be respected at work, I want to be cared for, I want my values to be acknowledged.”
Shamrock makes some interesting points here, as fighters have become more and more disgruntled over time and far less afraid to make their displeasure known. Zuffa sold the UFC at a time where the most bankable stars were still active; Ronda Rousey status as a fighter is up in the air and Conor McGregor is taking an extended sabbatical for the birth of his son. McGregor could also be out for even longer due to the expectation of a potential fight against Floyd Mayweather, with no timetable for return. Georges St Pierre is looking to fight in the fall, and Brock Lesnar seems comfortably snug back in WWE after failing a USADA test in the wake of UFC 200.
With a dearth of PPV stars that can rake in massive revenue, the state of morale from the fighters, and dissatisfaction from fans as to how fighters are treated and/or paid, things are much more complicated for the UFC. With the eventual founding of Fertitta Capital, maybe the previous ownership did find an optimal moment to make an exit.
Submission Radio is available on Soundcloud, Stitcher, and iTunes.