The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been sold for $4 billion, with the news coming less than a day after its milestone 200th pay-per-view event.
The story was first reported by CBS 8 in Las Vegas. According to their report:
The new owners include an alphabet soup partnership of WME (William Morris Endeavor), the internationally known talent agency, IMG (International Management Group) a global sports and entertainment company based in New York, and MSD, a private equity group headed by Michael Dell.Also involved as a strategic partner is KKR, a global investment firm.
The promotion’s current majority owners, brothers Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, will retain a small percentage of ownership as will current UFC president Dana White.
“Weve been fortunate over the years to represent UFC and a number of its remarkable athletes,” said WME | IMG Co-CEOs Ariel Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell in a press release. “Its been exciting to watch the organizations incredible growth over the last decade under the leadership of the Fertitta brothers, Dana White and their dedicated team. Were now committed to pursuing new opportunities for UFC and its talented athletes to ensure the sports continued growth and success on a global scale.”
Rumors of the sale have been circulating for weeks but had previously been denied; Sunday night’s announcement made it official.
Last night’s UFC 200 fight event featured stars Brock Lesnar (currently associated more with WWE, in his first fight in years) and Jose Aldo. Other stars, who didn’t participate in last night’s event, include Ronda Rousey and Connor McGregor.
“No other sport compares to UFC,” said White, UFC president, who will continue in that role. “Our goal has always been to put on the biggest and the best fights for our fans, and to make this the biggest sport in the world. Im looking forward to working with WME | IMG to continue to take this sport to the next level.”
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.