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UFC Sells Minority Percentage of Company to Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi



(Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta chill with Sheikh Tahnoon during a recent boar hunting trip. Photos courtesy of twitter.com/danawhite.)

And here we thought Dana White was just visiting Abu Dhabi to set up a monster fight card and spring Lee Murray out of jail. FiveOuncesofPain has broken the wild and developing story that after a few months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, the UFC has sold a piece of its empire to Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, son of former United Arab Emirates president Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and founder of the world-famous Abu Dhabi Combat Club. MMA Payout estimates that Sheikh Tahnoon now owns approximately 10% of the UFC, and the proceeds of the sale will likely go towards regaining control of Station Casinos.

According to the original report, the deal was brokered with the help of Renzo Gracie, who happens to be Sheikh Tahnoon’s BJJ instructor; Tahnoon is a black belt under Renzo. The sale has massive implications, but without an official statement from the UFC, there isn’t much more we can tell you. Either Sheikh Tahnoon becomes instrumental in helping the UFC become a truly global operation, or he creates a "too many cooks in the kitchen" situation, leading to counter-productive infighting and unfortunate ring girl choices. What’s clear is that Tahnoon has money and passion to spare. Let’s see how this thing plays out.

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Koeikan- January 9, 2010 at 8:17 pm
@BigCountry:
(copied from his wiki)
Matt Hume's grappling talents impressed the Prince, Sheik tahnoun Bin Zayed Al Nayhan of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates so much, that the Prince requested that Matt come to Abu Dhabi to personally train him and his combat team. Shortly after Matt trained him and his team, the Prince was inspired to start the now famous Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling World Championships. Matt participated in the inaugural event, winning all of his matches, but withdrawing after his semi final victory on the doctor's recommendation after a ruptured acl injury.

cansfordays- January 8, 2010 at 11:33 pm
They sold a 10% stake to a guy that likes to torture people with a cattle prod...

Shit just got real.
ghostboner- January 8, 2010 at 4:56 pm
I really don't see how this is good news. As much as we might all disagree with Dana at times, I think a large part of the success of the UFC has been due to the swift and decisive management style that comes from having one head. Never know maybe this will work out for the better, but I definitely have my doubts. Yeah, 10% doesn't seem like a big piece of the pie, but when you figure that the estimated value of the company is 1bil that 10% becomes 100 mil. I think the Sheik will expect his fair share of management clout for his 100 mil.

@GEE-yuh-TEEN - Exactly. Don't see how it could get any worse.

@robthom - sounds like someone must have called you a pinhead.
Robocop Didnt Tap- January 8, 2010 at 4:55 pm
I wish this sheik was more like the one Jamie Farr played in Cannonball Run.

"Wingtips? Barbarians... COME! Buy yourself a better clothing store!"
ghostboner- January 8, 2010 at 4:54 pm
@ swedish - ha ha ha well you should buy 51% of the company and every time there is a shareholder meeting tell the Sheikh to eet fukk.
LET IT RAIN- January 8, 2010 at 3:51 pm
@ Swedish

For starters, you should go eat a cock sandwich, hold the bread. Then let us know when you're done and someone else on here will think up something else for you.

@ steampunk22

so he should broaden his hatred to list all middle easterners and not just Muslims?
steampunk22- January 8, 2010 at 3:45 pm
@Swedish

You should realize that not all people of middle eastern descent are muslim.
Swedish- January 8, 2010 at 3:22 pm
I love the UFC but I HATE muslims... what should I do now??
LET IT RAIN- January 8, 2010 at 2:40 pm
I like how he smiles in his pic with Fertitta, but he either doesn't like to be touched, he hates how DW did him with the same old UFC picture fan pose, or DW just makes him feel gangsta for their pic.

pretty funny how he tongued both of their assholes though by wearing a UFC hoody.
Jeeves- January 8, 2010 at 2:24 pm
Total $$ laundering 101. . . I wouldn't blame them. Get as much money out of the US as possible before our dollar bubble explodes.
BigCountrysCholesterol- January 8, 2010 at 1:51 pm
Koeikan, could you please briefly tell more about the Matt Hume thing....I am pretty uninformed when it comes to ADCC.
tulsatopteam- January 8, 2010 at 1:49 pm
Can't believe you guys bought into this "news story," his is just an elaborate hoax!!!

These pictures were taken in Arkansas with Roli Delgado.
robthom- January 8, 2010 at 1:46 pm
Lol @ the unfortunate ring girls.

Actually I've heard that the Arab dudes are quite fond of scantily clad and naked women.
Just not theirs, other peoples.

I'd certainly be enthusiastic to check out some belly dancer tail though if he's got some of that available.



And Lol @ bigcountryschol!!!
:)
Koeikan- January 8, 2010 at 1:29 pm
All this was born out of Matt Hume impressing those guys back in the day...
GEE-yuh-TEEN- January 8, 2010 at 1:25 pm
They already made an unfortunate ring girl decision...
mthomas- January 8, 2010 at 1:20 pm
"The sale has massive implications, but without an official statement from the UFC, there isn't much more we can tell you."

THANK YOU! I was just on Bloody Elbow and they are already talking about this like it is a done deal. I am happy to see that even though it is all about the LULZ, CP at least has some standards of journalistic integrity. Honestly, stories like the one on BE are the reason that the journalism establishment shits all over "Internet Reporters" and New Media journalism--and with good reason!

OK, rant over....
ReX13- January 8, 2010 at 1:18 pm
Interesting. I'm not sure i'd paint this as a deal with the devil...since the ADCC is well-established, very much respected, and very well funded. The UAE in general are fairly pro-American (at least ostensibly so) as well, so there shouldn't be too much Faux News gnashing of teeth. (Actually, knowing how that crowd excels in manufacturing scandal, i take it back. If it's a slow news day, there will be some teeth gnashing and garment rending.)

If DW and the Fertittas continue to pull off moves like this and stick to their ambitions, we could possibly see some BJJ or even MMA competition at the 2012 Olympics, followed by overtaking soccer/football as the most popular sport on the planet.

What? It could happen.
Get Off Me- January 8, 2010 at 1:15 pm
UFC is getting some oil money! Nice.
What's with the photos of Matt Brown hunting with Dana and Lorenzo doing up top??
BigCountrysCholesterol- January 8, 2010 at 1:13 pm
But it is awesome news. Acceptance of anything new is easier if you have something in common with the people pushing it. Tahnoon is rich, passionate about the sport, and most importantly, capable of relating to the people in his neck of the woods in ways that Dana simply cannot. I have high hopes! But not about Lee Murray....
Alex in Toronto- January 8, 2010 at 1:13 pm
Liked the ring girls zinger. Funny.
BigCountrysCholesterol- January 8, 2010 at 1:09 pm
Can you even make a big country breakfast out of falafel and hummus?
robthom- January 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm
"The beginning of the end... just like the Bush regime."

Yeah right. The bush regime would have piled him up in a naked dude pile in an offshore detention facility to dissappear without a trace for the rest of his life.

I think this is awesome news!

The more "terrorist" brothers the better IMO. Just wait till the the crackerheads at fox news get wind of this.

I wonder what Matt Hughes is thinking right now?
steampunk22- January 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm
@Agentsmith

LOL

I was thinking of the same joke except involving the Diaz brothers, and getting "stoned" after not performing well. ;P
Richard Tucker- January 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm
Whoa...deal with the devil much? Not saying Sheikh Tahnoon is a bad guy (I don't know shit about him), but it seems like the Fertittas are starting to make major compromises to save their casinos. This won't turn out well. Will they sell another chunk to Shane McMahon when they need more cash?
agentsmith- January 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm
He's gonna be SOOOO disappointed when he finds out the whole "human cockfighting" label was an exaggeration.
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