…UFC has received financial support from:
The Emirate of Abu Dhabi
- Abu Dhabi owns 10% of Zuffa LLC, the parent company of the UFC. In 2010, Flash Entertainment, a government-owned company of Abu Dhabi, purchased a 10% stake in Zuffa LLC.
- Abu Dhabi is an emirate that is part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Abu Dhabi is also the largest city and capital of the UAE.
- The UAE criminalizes homosexuality. In Abu Dhabi, both Civil and Shari'a law criminalize homosexual activity. The death penalty is the punishment under Shari’a law for consensual homosexual activity. As is the case elsewhere, the prosecution and letter of the law differ, the U.S. State Department reported that in 2009 there were reports that the United Arab Emirates deported and sentenced to prison individuals for open homosexual acts.
- The UAE punishes homosexuality. According to a March 2007 US Department of State report, “In November 2005 Abu Dhabi Police arrested 26 men, 13 citizens and 13 other Arabs and Asians, for alleged homosexual activity. Government officials reportedly said that the men were transferred to the ministry's Social Support Center and would "be given the necessary treatment, from male hormone injections to psychological therapies" after their trial. The Ministry of Interior later disavowed this statement. In May 12 of the 13 nationals involved were sentenced to five years in prison; the other was given six months, all for immoral activities. All 13 of the foreign nationals involved were sentenced to a period equal to that which they had already been imprisoned, and were deported to their home countries.
- UAE does not tolerate homosexuality. In reference to the arrest and forced hormone injections, the Khaleej Times reported that Mohammed bin Nukhaira Al Dhahiri, Minister of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Auqaf (Endowments), “angrily stated” that “There will be no room for homosexual and queer acts in the UAE. Our society does not accept queer behaviour, either in word or in action.”
- Abu Dhabi has insufficient legal protections for women. According to Human Rights Watch, “In October  the [UAE] Federal Supreme Court issued a ruling that upheld a husband's right to "chastise" his wife and children with physical abuse.” According to the US State Department in 2010, “there were allegations that police sometimes enabled domestic abuse. Legal and societal discrimination against women and noncitizens was pervasive,” and that “the penal code does not address spousal rape.”
- UAE’s treatment of women who complain about sexual assault. In its 2011 World Report, Human Rights Watch reported that “In January a Dubai court charged 23-year-old British woman and her fiance with having illegal sex and drinking outside permitted premises after the woman reported to police that a hotel employee had raped her. In June the Abu Dhabi criminal court sentenced an 18-year-old Emirati woman to a year in prison for illicit sex after she complained that six men gang-raped her a month earlier.”
- Treatment of female domestic servant employed in the UAE. In 2005 it was reported that a “court in the United Arab Emirates has sentenced a pregnant Asian housemaid to 150 lashes for adultery.”
- Abu Dhabi has hosted UFC events in the past. On April 10, 2010, UFC held a fight – UFC 112 - on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island.
- For more, please read: US Department of State, 2010 Human Rights Report: United Arab Emirates
o 2009 Human Rights Report: http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/nea/136082.htm
o 2006 Human Rights Report: http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2006/78865.htm
Deutsche Bank and the UFC
Richard J. Byrne, CEO of Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc. has a history with the Fertittas. Before becoming CEO of Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Byrne was a “perennially top-ranked” credit analyst of the Gaming industry. As a Gaming industry researcher for Merrill Lynch in 1998, Richard Byrne was lauded for his savvy “buy” suggestion for the Fertitta brothers’ Station Casinos’ debt in early 1998. According to a Feb. 2010 article in Bloomberg News, “Byrne, 48, didn’t know a lot about UFC when Frank Fertitta and Lorenzo Fertitta bought it in 2001. First at Merrill Lynch and later at Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank, Byrne worked with the brothers on financing deals and they set him up for lessons in muaythai and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.”
Deutsche Bank financed deals for Zuffa LLC, the parent company of the UFC. While Byrne’s first contacts with the Fertitta’s interests were as a gaming credit analyst, he is involved with the brothers’ mixed martial arts (MMA) business as well. Deutsche Bank, where Byrne works, “arranged a $350 million financing in 2007 and a $100 million loan [in 2009] for Zuffa LLC, the parent company of UFC that the Fertittas formed in 2001.” In his Deutsche office, Byrne has an Ultimate Fighting Championship banner on his wall, and Byrne’s own practice of MMA (subject of a New York Times article) was kicked off when “[t]he Fertitta Brothers connected Mr. Byrne with a trainer who recommended Mr. [Erik] Owings, and the two began kickboxing and jujitsu lessons,” in 2008.
In 2006, Richard Byrne donated $5,000 to Tom Suozzi when he was running in the Democratic Primary for Governor of New York. At the time, Suozzi was opposed to equal marriage.
Collectively Deutsche Bank Employees contributed more to Congressional Candidate Matt Doheny in 2010 – who was a former Deutsche Bank employee – than employees of any other employer.
Matt Doheny has publicly stated he is against same-sex marriage. "When it comes to same-sex or gay marriage, I also believe that it's squarely and only between a man and a woman and without question, there's no need for anything other than a man and a woman to be recognized as marriage anywhere in this United States.”