UFC Sold for $4 Billion

Trent Reinsmith
(Photo: Getty)

Well, it turns out the rumors that have been floating around about the UFC being sold for $4 billion—that’s billion with a “B”—are true. Early Monday morning the UFC released a statement confirming the sale to WME-IMG.

“We’ve 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. “It’s been exciting to watch the organization’s incredible growth over the last decade under the leadership of the Fertitta brothers, Dana White and their dedicated team. We’re now committed to pursuing new opportunities for UFC and its talented athletes to ensure the sport’s continued growth and success on a global scale.”

With the sale, Lorenzo Fertitta will step down from his position as chairman and CEO following a transition period. White will stay on as the president of the promotion. Fertitta and his brother Frank will retain a passive minority interest in the UFC.

The Fertitta brothers bought the UFC in 2001 for $2 million—with an “M”—from Semaphore Entertainment Group. The $4 billion sale price is said to be the largest sale price for a sports franchise ever.

The announcement of the sale comes days after the UFC presented three fight cards in three days for its “International Fight Week.” The promotion has three more events scheduled for July.

“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,” White said. “I’m looking forward to working with WME-IMG to continue to take this sport to the next level.”