Eric Bischoff is a former WCW President and he recently revealed that he was offered to purchase UFC, which is the number 1 MMA promotion in the world at the moment. UFC is the Ultimate Fighting Championship and it held its first show in 1993.
It was originally an eight-man tournament and was considered a tough man competition rather than a clash of different martial art styles. In 2016, the company was sold for $4 Billion and is currently worth $7 Billion.
Eric Bischoff on Being Offered to Purchase UFC
Bischoff spoke about the UFC and Clash of Champions XXV on his podcast.
He stated that WCW was not competing with UFC at that time. Bischoff was just interested in UFC because he has a background in martial arts as well. "Nobody looked at it as competition - it was a tough man contest," Bischoff said.
"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 revealed that he was offered to purchase UFC during the early 90s. Bischoff stated that UFC wasn’t big at all during that time and he regrets not buying it at that time.
"If we'd have known then what we know now, I'd own it," Bischoff said regarding the UFC. "I was offered to buy it at one point for 2 million dollars and I didn't bother to return the phone call."
Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta in 2001 purchased the UFC for $2 million. UFC was going to go out of business and file for bankruptcy. Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta basically saved the company. Bischoff stated that Lorenzo and Frank must have lost a lot of money in an effort to turn the company around.
He also spoke about the Ultimate Fighter helping UFC succeed. "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," Eric Bischoff said.
"There was probably over a hundred million dollars of red ink that flowed out of UFC before it finally turned the corner. It wouldn't have turned the corner had it not been for [The Ultimate Fighter] on Spike. That was the golden ticket, the lottery ticket, that turned things around."