On last week’s episode of 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff, Conrad Thompson brings up the first-ever UFC PPV. During the discussion, Eric Bischoff goes into detail about how at one point he had been offered the opportunity to purchase the UFC.
Bischoff was asked if the first UFC PPV was even on his and WCW’s radar back in 1993 when the event first aired. He went on to say that back then, UFC wasn’t looked at as competition for WCW as it was basically just a “tough man contest” unlike how the sport is presented today.
“Nobody looked at it as competition because it was just a tough man contest. Not taking anything away from people involved in it, but it was being promoted as a tough man type. It wasn’t being promoted the way it was being promoted today. I don’t think anybody looked at it as a threat or competition. As a fan, I was curious about it but not concerned about it.”
Bischoff then goes on to talk about if he had known then, what he knows now, that he would have owned UFC. He then revealed that at one point he was offered a chance to purchase the UFC for $2 million but he didn’t even return their phone call.
“If we’d have known then what we know now, I’d own it. I was offered to buy it at one point for 2 million dollars and I didn’t bother to return the phone call.”
Eventually, the UFC would end up being purchased by Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta back in 2001 for $2 million. Currently, the company is estimated to be worth over $7 billion.
“The Fertitta’s, when they bought it, people didn’t realize how many 10s of millions of dollars the Fertitta’s lost before it turned around. There was probably over a hundred million dollars of red ink that flowed out of UFC before it finally turned the corner.”
You can check out the entire episode of 83 weeks and others below.
(h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcriptions.)
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