UFC lays off estimated 15 percent of employees including executive Gary Cook

The UFC’s headquarters in Las Vegas will be going through some significant changes this week.

According to sources that spoke to MMAFighting.com, 60-80 of the UFC’s employees will be relieved of their duties this week along with Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa Gary Cook. According to the sources, the morale at the office is “very bad” and has been compared to a morgue. In addition to these lay-offs, several employees at the UFC’s offices in Asia, Brazil, Latin America, and Canada have been fired.

Cook was brought on board in 2012 and was promoted to his executive position about two years ago after he impressed Dana White with his international expansion of the UFC. Prior to working for the UFC, he served as the CEO of Manchester City Football Club. His statement on his release can be read below:

This has been a magnificent experience with one of the greatest sports enterprises of the modern day. I am thankful and proud to have played a part in their brand story working with Lorenzo Fertitta, Dana White, Lawrence Epstein and all the talented individuals at the UFC.

With the new leadership from WME/IMG the next era of continuing to redefine the global sports landscape is very exciting. I wish them well delivering on their vision for success.

These changes come just months after Zuffa sold the UFC to WME | IMG in July for $4 billion. The acquisition, which was the largest ever in the sports industry, was finalized in August. Other UFC executives who have left the company following the sale include long-time matchmaker Joe Silva and VP of Public Relations Dave Sholler.


Jamal Khayat is a writer for RoughCopy MMA. He began his training in combat sports in 2009 and has competed as an amateur in both MMA and boxing. He is currently pursuing a B.S. degree in Physics at the University of Central Florida.


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