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Game Changer (?): The UFC Has Apparently Been Sold For 4.2 BILLION DOLLARS

(Well thank God this isn’t having a noticeable effect on DW yet.)

There are a couple reasons that we haven’t been reporting on the alleged sale of the UFC, which has been making the rounds here in the MMA blogosphere for the past week or so. For starters, most of these reports have been little more than hearsay and conjecture, and not to take some journalistic high ground here, but any article that begins with “UFC Sold to blah blah blah” and ends with “But nothing is finalized yet” is some amateur hour clickbait bullshit that even we are not prepared to publish. Of course, there’s also the fact that the UFC has been threatening legal action against anyone who *was* reporting on the story, which is a headache that we really didn’t feel like dealing with.

Today, however, it seems like this thing is actually going through, so head after the jump for all the details.

As first unveiled by Jeremy Botter of FloCombat, it appears that (emphasis on “appears”) 100% the UFC has in fact been sold to a massive investment group led by the William Morris Endeavor-IMG agency for something in the neighborhood of 4.2 GODDAMN BILLION DOLLARS.

Our sources said that the basics of the deal was finalized during a dinner meeting in Hollywood last Sunday between Lorenzo Fertitta, Ari Emanuel—the CEO of WME-IMG and one of the most powerful men in entertainment—and other UFC and WME-IMG executives… 

… the Fertitta Brothers would leave the UFC to focus on the expansion of their Las Vegas casino empire. White, who owns approximately 8.89% of the company, was said to be cashing out to the tune of $320 million US dollars. But our sources also said that the new ownership group would grant White a new ownership stake in order to entice him to continue in his role as president and promoter. 

And just like that, CagePotato’s last chance at getting credentialed just flew out the f*cking window. As for Fertitta, it’s looking like his replacement as CEO has been boiled down to a few options, the most notable being former executive of the Manchester City Football Club Gary Cook. Emanuel — who it bears mentioning was the inspiration for Ari Gold on Entourage and is probably a real swell guy – is also being considered for the role.

Though no announcement has been made by the UFC at this point (we reached out to White for comment and were strangled through the phone), reports are indicating that the sale will be finalized in the coming days and be announced during the UFC’s International Fight Week in July. We’ll keep you updated as information is made available.

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