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UFC bought for sports franchise record $4 Billion – SportsUntapped.com
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Added July 19th, 2016 by Ian

UFC bought for sports franchise record $4 Billion
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The popular mixed martial arts franchise the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) was sold for $4 billion in the second week of July. The company was bought by the WME-IMG talent agency along with Silver Lake Partners, MSD Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and the Michael Dell investment firm. The UFC was bought by the Fertitta brothers, Frank and Lorenzo, for just $2 million in 2000 and was mainly operated by its president Dana White. The $4 billion price tag makes the sale the most expensive in sports history. ESPN had reported a couple of months ago that the UFC was up for sale, but White denied the reports.

After the deal was announced, White said fans shouldn’t worry about the new ownership group as it will be taking the UFC to a new level. The cost of the UFC represents approximately seven times the organization’s gross revenue of 2015 since Lorenzo Fertitta stated to the media that the company’s revenues in 2015 were close to $600 million. Fertitta also remarked, “We’re confident the new ownership team with whom we’ve built a strong relationship over the last several years, is committed to accelerating UFC’s global growth and most importantly, our new owners share the same vision and passion for this organization and its athletes.”

Lorenzo Fertitta will give up his position as UFC chairman as an agreement to the sale, but he and his brother will keep a minority interest in the organization. White, who previously owned nine per cent of the company remains with the franchise and will receive a stake of the new UFC. Also, many people may not know it, but the government of Abu Dhabi owns still has a 10 per cent ownership stake in the UFC. The mixed martial arts giant routinely sells out its cards all over the world and is now legally licensed to operate in all 50 American states. However, the UFC makes the majority of its money from pay-per-view television sales as well as a broadcasting contract with Fox, which will expire after 2018.

As many fans point out, the UFC has become a valuable commodity in the sports world as the company rakes in millions of dollars via pay-per-view sales, but pays its athletes peanuts when compared to the top competitors of other sports, especially boxing. The UFC was launched in America in 1993 by WOW Promotions and the SEG entertainment group and was sold to the Fertitta Brothers and White in 2000 under the moniker Zuffa LLC. UFC events are now routinely held around the world including North America, Europe and Australia and recently held its 200th show on July 9th.

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