For the past couple months now, rumors have been circulating that the UFC was being auctioned off to the highest bidder, with the estimated price being somewhere in the $4 BILLION range. Considering that the UFC was only worth about $2 million when it was purchased by Zuffa back in 2000, that figure was quite an accomplishment in and of itself to say the very least.
Of course, following those rumors came the UFC’s typical form of rebuttal — having Dana White bully and straight up lie to members of the MMA media on Twitter (or what he would likely define as “good journalism“). But following the UFC’s landmark UFC 200 event on Saturday night, reports once again began circling that the UFC had in fact been sold to an investment group led by WME-IMG for the staggering price of $4 billion.
Details after the jump.
According to a press release sent out this morning, it appears that these reports have finally been confirmed. After finalizing the paperwork on Saturday, the UFC has been sold from Zuffa to WME-IMG, Silver Lake, KKR and MSD capital. This makes for the biggest sale of a franchise in the history of sports – The Los Angeles Dodgers was bought out of bankruptcy for $2.1 billion in 2012 — and a huge changing of the guard for the biggest promotion in the game.
But what does this mean for the head-honchos? Well, TMZ Sports is indicating that Lorenzo Fertitta will be stepping down as CEO while WME-IMG head Ari Emanuel will “wield a lot of power over the organization.” The Fertittas will however retain a small minority stake in the company.
Unfortunately for the litany of MMA media outlets hoping that new owners could mean a fresh new start, well…