Having celebrated their biggest event of the year, the company dawned this Monday in hands of a different owner.
The UFC keeps showing how volatile and fast changing sport it is. It was almost impossible following its headlines during last week, jumping from selling rumors to a full scheduled fight week, to last minute main card changes.
The so awaited UFC 200 turned out to be a pretty exciting evening after all. Big surprises and unexpected results were the seasonings of the night. With Brock Lesnar’s comeback running over Mark Hunt, and Miesha Tate letting her belt go after getting choked out by Amanda Nunes. Also, the brave Anderson Silva, stepped on after Jon Joes was pulled out of the main event, for testing positive for an illegal substance, proving once more the talented and extremely dangerous fighter he is. Though his performance wasn’t enough neither to defeat Cormier nor to rise fans emotions.
The UFC 200 was the ending to what seemed to be a farewell party for UFC owners, the Fertitta brothers. During three consecutive nights, UFC held up the International Fight Week in Las Vegas, with fighting events like The Ultimate Fighter Finale and UFC 200. An interesting way of preparing the mix martial arts fans for what was coming, the announcement of the fighting promotion company sale.
All rumors were finally over this Monday after the Talent agency WME-IMG revealed that it would be partnering with its owner Silver Lake Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and MSD Capital, the investment firm of Michael Dell, which would take over the mixed martial arts company.
Back in 2000 after no one was interested in investing in the martial arts promotion company, Dana White, and his childhood friends, the Fertitta brothers bought the UFC for 2 million dollars. Just about a decade and a half later, they had built an incredible money machine, whose fights are now shown in more than 156 countries and take place in all 50 states. Breaking records every time they launch a PPV event.
Last weekend was no different, according to the UFC, Saturday’s event raked in a record-breaking $10.7 million gate for the card held at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Just in 2015, the organization took in about $600 million. Now, and in a way to show how business is done, the Ferttitas, who owned around 80% of the business, sold the company for 4 billion dollars.
As part of the deal, the Fertittas will step down, but will retain a “passive minority interest” in the new company. Lorenzo Fertitta will step down as CEO after the deal is complete. As for Dana White, who owned 9 percent of UFC, will continue in his role as the UFC’s president. The Abu Dhabi government still owns 10 percent of UFC as well.