Stephanie McMahon: UFC is not a competitor to the WWE
The WWE’s Chief Brand Officer, Stephanie McMahon recently did an interview with Lara O’Reilly of Business Insider and had this to say about the comparison of her company to the UFC, and Brock Lesnar’s participation in net week’s mega-card, UFC 200.
O’Reilly: “Brock Lesnar is a really interesting story right now. You’ve not necessarily ever done cross-brand promotions with the UFC before. Are you realizing there is a place for both UFC and WWE? Do they compete in any way? And also the fact that he’s flipped from one to the other and then back again.”
McMahon: “Brock is a unique proposition, but just to get to the broader question: UFC is not a competitor to the WWE because we are entertainment and UFC is competitive sport. It’s very different. WWE is all about protagonists and antagonists where ultimately our conflicts are settled in the ring with action that is akin to Hollywood. It’s incredible stunt-like action and the match itself tells a story, but our audience is engaged in the characters and their storyline. It has to be relatable to them so that they care to see the tragedy or triumph and we’re at an advantage because we can script it.
UFC, they can make a big star but the second that person loses, they lose credibility, and how do you continue to make that star rise? So I think we have the best of both worlds and the opportunity to tell the stories in the way we want to tell them.
In Brock Lesnar’s case it was really a special case that we are allowing him to do this fight [against Mark Hunt on July 9]. But like you said it’s not really a cross-promotional opportunity, but we are allowing him to participate in that fight.
We are not supporting the fight necessarily but, again, it’s not a competitor to us and the more that our superstars, that’s how we refer to our talent, the more they do outside of WWE, the more awareness it generates and the broader the audience can be that is then brought back into our properties. So we recognize the value of that.”
Lesnar will fight Mark Hunt in the co-main event at UFC 200. The event goes down July 9 in Las Vegas.