As the sport of MMA continues to grow, so does the reputation of the two men who have helped it get there, the UFC’s president Dana White and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta.
Taking the UFC from the verge of collapse to the fastest growing sport in the world has not gone unnoticed, and has lead to the two men being listed a No.41 in SportsBusiness Journal’s rundown of the sporting world’s most influential people for 2011.
“In the last decade, the Las Vegas billionaire and his bombastic front man have taken the UFC from outlawed to in thing,” the journal notes. “A move to the FOX family of networks, coupled with expansion into South America and Asia, made 2011 a watershed year.”
No.1 on the list was NBCUniversal Holdings President Steve Burke, while Dave Hill from FOX Sports who had a hand in bringing the UFC to the network, placed at No.5.
This was the first time that either White or Fertitta has featured on the list, and with the promotion set to embark on an aggressive schedule of events in 2012 including multiple free-to-air shows on FOX, it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see them climb higher than this on next year’s edition.