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UFC officially sold
The sale of the Ultimate Fighting Championship now is official.
William Morris Endeavor, along with International Management Group today announced its acquisition of the world’s leading MMA promotion through a news release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though the Las Vegas CBS affilitate reported late Sunday the sale price was $4 billion.
Along with WME and IMG, Silver Lake Partners and KKR are along as investors, as are MSD Capital/MSD Partners.
WME-IMG is one of the world’s leading talent agencies, and its clients include former UFC women’s bantamweight champion and crossover star Ronda Rousey. The company’s CEOs are Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell.
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Twitter reacts to news of UFC sale
Current UFC owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta III will retain a “passive minority interest” in the new company. Lorenzo Fertitta will step down as CEO after the deal is complete. Dana White will continue in his role as the UFC’s president.
“We’ve been fortunate over the years to represent UFC and a number of its remarkable athletes,” Emanuel and Whitesell said in a combined statement. “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.”
White and Fertitta denied recent reports that the UFC’s sale was imminent, and Fertitta issued an email to UFC employees saying the company had not been sold. But White, who has a reported 9 percent ownership stake in the UFC, also said if someone was willing to offer $4 billion, he and the Fertittas, who own 80 percent, would listen.
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“We’re confident that the new ownership team of WME-IMG, with whom we’ve built a strong relationship over the last several years, is committed to accelerating UFC’s global growth,” Lorenzo Fertitta stated. “Most importantly, our new owners share the same vision and passion for this organization and its athletes.”
White said his priority will remain the same: to continue building the UFC brand and making MMA a global sport.
“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 stated. “I’m looking forward to working with WME-IMG to continue to take this sport to the
In 2001, the Ferttitas purchased the UFC for $2 million from Semaphore Entertainment Group. The $4 billion sale is expected to be the largest for a franchise in sports history – an increase from that original $2 million pricetag of nearly 200,000 percent.
The UFC is coming off its biggest week of the year – International Fight Week in Las Vegas, which saw events take place on three consecutive nights this past week, culminating with the historic UFC 200 at the new T-Mobile Arena on Saturday.

Lorenzo Fertitta stepping down, Dana White staying on as Prez. Expect Joe Rogan to leave now too. He was undecided about renewing his contract this summer, but said he would definitely walk away if there was an ownership change
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I remember a poster back in the SN days when they first created an MMA forum jumping in to a thread stating that the UFC would never be anything other than amateur hour because no sponsors or main stream business would touch the organization. They get sold for $4 billion, have major sponsorships, they have the largest ppv draw, they often times are featured as the number 1 story on ESPN Sports Center, etc.

I wonder where that guy is now?
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I read that this UFC sale is the largest transaction ($ amount) in the history of sports!

These new guys aren't just buying the UFC, they're basically buying an entire sport.
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It will be interesting to see what they do with it, I was hearing the other day that they may set up "leagues" all over the country.

Not sure how that would work, either way the roster needs to be cut a bit so fans can identify with the fighters more. I watch the sport all the time but have very little idea who anybody is that's fighting tonight (fight night)
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New ownership continues to make changes.  Chuck Liddell & Matt Hughes have already been let go.  UFC 207 will be the last event for longtime commentator Mike Goldberg.   No word yet on who his replacement will be but there's lots of rumors swirling that it will be Jim Rome!   I sure hope not.  That means I'll be watching UFC PPV's on mute!

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I don't understand getting rid of Goldberg. I read an article on mmajunkie that claimed that Goldberg routinely grts heat for mis-pronounciations of fighters names but I haven't noticed any issues with his commentary.

As for Jim Rome, I don't get what makes him a dream commentator? What is this based on as I don't recall him commentating anything. He has a decent media voice but his delivery is very specific to his show and doesn't translate to play-by-play. I have also heard Joe Rogan state that if Goldberg leaves he will leave. I wonder if he will stick to this plan?
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Joe Rogan signed an extension through 2017, but will only work North American PPV's.

I really like Goldy & never noticed any issue with him mispronouncing names.

I wish they would bring Frank Mir back in a commentator role. He was really good in WEC. Anyone but Jim Rome!
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Rogan signed for a year and said he will only sign year to year, but he probably didn't sign knowing his partner would be stepping away or be handed his walking papers. I wouldn't be suprised to see rumors of Rogan walking away early next year which is probably why Dana White has been praising Rogan's greatness lately hoping to butter him up.
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If Rome is in I am out

the guy is an idiot
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