MMA: UFC lays off key staff, including Singapore-based Kenneth Berger

Ultimate Fighting Championship has laid off some of its key leadership staff, with its Singapore office believed to have been cut to just six staff.
Ultimate Fighting Championship has laid off some of its key leadership staff, with its Singapore office believed to have been cut to just six staff. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the world's biggest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, has laid off some of its key leadership staff including Kenneth Berger, who is the executive vice-president and general manager of UFC Asia.

Berger was based in UFC Asia's office in Singapore, which was set up in 2013. It is believed that the Republic's office is cut to just six staff.

Berger joins a high-profile list of staff who lost their jobs in the past week, including Garry Cook, its chief global brand officer, and senior vice-president of global content, Jamie Pollack, and chief content officer Marshall Zelaznik.

The layoffs come three months after UFC was acquired by WME-IMG for US$4 billion (S$5.55 billion) in July.

According to MMAFighting.com, layoffs represented under 15 per cent of the workforce.

About 400 people worldwide are employed by UFC, which is based in Las Vegas. It has offices in Los Angeles, Toronto, London, Sao Paulo and Singapore.

Following his release, Cook, a former chief executive of English Premier League side Manchester City, issued a statement on Tuesday (Oct 18), saying: "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."