Remember the good ol’ days where the only person that talks about Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) stuff was Dana White? Yeah, those may be over now that UFC has merged with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) to create the publicly traded “TKO” company.
Now, we’ve got UFC COO, Lawrence Epstein, out there saying it wants to convert all UFC fans to WWE fans, and WWE President, Nick Khan, suggesting we’ll see more UFC fighters making their way into the squared circle. UFC CEO (no longer President), Dana White, has already declared Epstein’s comments to be, “the dumbest statement of all time,” but we haven’t heard what he thinks of the ideas flowing from WWE’s side.
Ideas like an “All-Star TKO Weekend.”
Khan went on The Bill Simmons Podcast to discuss the TKO deal, and said one thing they’re looking at is bundling up WWE and UFC events for specific cities. The whole show rolls in and takes over for the entire weekend.
“What everyone envisions is: can you set up an all-star TKO weekend where SmackDown goes on Friday, UFC on Saturday with pay-per-view, and WWE goes with a premium live event on Sunday,” Khan said. “Can you do that from the same city? Certainly, a lot of cost efficiencies there in terms of production, but a lot of revenue efficiencies in terms of upside there as well.”
That sounds a lot like UFC’s annual International Fight Week.
Nevertheless, how UFC fans feel about this idea probably depends on their feelings about WWE. For some, the opportunity to scratch both itches over one weekend in one city sounds fun. For others, it’d be like combining a religious ceremony with a clown convention. For us? In the end, it’s all about presentation. If TKO wants to roll into town and maximize revenue by doing multiple shows with the same road crew and production team, cool. Good for you folks — synergize those efficiencies!
If they want to promote the whole thing as an “All-Star TKO Weekend” where Conor McGregor and John Cena end up at the same Dave & Busters to shoot promos for their respective events? That’s where it starts to get a little dicey for us.
The temptation is going to be very strong for all the people in TKO to start mashing these two very separate entities together (because ... money). White seems to understand that it’s not something a large chunk of the fanbase will appreciate. Let’s hope he sticks with that, and he still has the power to say “No” when things start going too far.
For much more on the UFC-WWE merger click here.