Now that the UFC and WWE’s merger under the ‘TKO’ banner has now been made official, discussions are now taking place about what exactly that’s going to look like, and not everyone on-board is seeing eye-to-eye on the matter.
One potential idea that’s already gaining traction came from WWE CEO Nick Khan, who revealed that there’s already talk about having ‘all-star’ weekends that would see both the UFC and WWE hosting events in the same city on successive nights.
“What everyone envisions is can you set up an all-star TKO weekend where if Smackdown goes on Friday and the UFC goes on Saturday with a pay-per-view and WWE goes with a premium live event on Sunday, can you do that from the same city?” Khan said on the Bill Simmons podcast.
“Certainly a lot of cost efficiencies there in terms of production. But a lot revenue efficiencies in terms of upside, we think there as well.”
Khan also noted that while crossovers of a fighter or wrestler between the two companies wasn’t completely out of the question, it’s not really what the merger is about, and instead it’s more of an opportunity to make the two companies more efficient and effective by working together.
“The fighters and the WWE superstars will stay separate, as you might imagine,” Khan said. “Could you have a Ronda Rousey or a Brock Lesnar [type] come along who can cross from one to the other? Sure, but that’s once in a decade, if not longer type of thing.
“But in terms of production, Kevin Dunn, who’s been with WWE for 40 plus years, and Craig Borsari, who’s been with UFC for over a decade, who’s in charge of all the production there, they’ve had a number of conversations on those efficiencies, how it might look, how it might work, and hopefully we have some news on that in a couple of months.”
Meanwhile, UFC senior executive vice-president Laurence Epstein made a bold declaration about the two brand’s fanbases.
“Where we want to get is where every UFC fan is a WWE fan and every WWE fan is a UFC fan,” Epstein told ESPN.
Apparently that didn’t sit well with UFC CEO Dana White as he made it clear on Tuesday night after the Contender Series that he completely disagreed with that statement.
“I don’t know why he said that,” White told reporters. “I don’t even know what to say to that. No, there’s no – there’s some crossover. Some people like WWE, some people like UFC, some like both. I don’t think there’s ever gonna be a day where we turn every UFC fan into a WWE fan or every WWE fan into a UFC fan.”
“…What’s beautiful about the synergy between these two fanbases is they are very completely opposite,” White elaborated. “There’s very little crossover. Maybe he was misquoted. I hope that’s the case, because I could not disagree with him more.”