UFC 200 wasn’t the only big thing going for the mixed martial arts organization, as it changed hands for a staggering price tag of US$4 billion.
Over the weekend, ownership of UFC was transferred from Zuffa LLC to a conglomerate led by WME-IMG.
After 15 years under Zuffa, the UFC now has a group of new owners, which includes WME-IMG as well as private equity firms Silver Lake, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Michael S.Dell.
The mixed mart arts organization was reportedly sold at US$4 billion, a stark contrast from the US$2 million it was worth back in 2001, when it was bought over by primary owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, and president Dana White.
The deal will see the Fertitta brothers relinquishing their roles, with their majority shares making up a huge part of the deal.
White is expected to stay on to run operations, and no major staffing changes will be made. The promotion will still be based out of Las Vegas.
UFC, and mixed martial arts as a whole, has gone from a niche bloodsport to mainstream popularity, with fighters like Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey becoming household names. Its recently-concluded sold-out event, UFC 200, generated a record-setting US$10.7 million in ticket sales alone.
The change in ownership is likely to usher in a new era for the biggest mixed martial arts organization in the world, although it’s too early to tell how this will pan out.