However, I don't think casual fans thought Elite was minor league. I think they thought it was the same, or on the same level as the UFC. It's possible that a sizeable portion of that same group had never seen the UFC, especially if they don't have cable. Also, a lot of casual or 1st time watchers were very interested in Kimbo. Even the UFC didn't have anyone that generated the same buzz as Kimbo.
I agree that JB is not an especially clever businessman, but the guy knows how to be ruthless, which I suppose some would say is clever. He has c*ck-blocked just about every org that's popped up in the states with his connections and threats. He definitely doesn't know the fight game itself in any superior way, either. I learned long ago to bet against the guy he's raving about. It's like the kiss of death. There's no doubt that having the UFC brand is huge, but let's not forget how lucky he was in the first place to have the Fertittas as his chums. That's a huge component in this whole thing. Not only did they have the revenue streams, they were also extremely well connected.
I don't think it's impossible for a rival to step up and stick around for a while. With better management and a charismatic, knowledgeable frontman, I think it could happen within a few years. It would take a huge setback by the UFC for anyone to supplant them as the #1 org, though. No doubt about that.