Jaws dropped throughout MMA when it was announced that the UFC was sold for $4 billion, but according to Dana White, the now former owners could have received more. A lot more.
If you’re a big time fan, then you know that the former ownership group for the UFC included Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, who were the majority owners. Last summer, however, an investment group led by WME / IMG purchased the UFC for the aforementioned total.
“There were two groups that came in for more money than (current UFC co-owner) Ari (Emanuel),” said White. “There was one for $5 billion.”
“There’s people who I believe add value,” White added. “One of the million things that I respect about the Fertittas – they weren’t just going to let this thing go for the money. They were going to make sure it went to somebody who could actually take it and bring it to the next level.”
Wow. Considering how many folks and fighters were shocked by the $4 billion price tag, it will be interesting to see how this news is received. It’s also interesting to see that White and the Fertittas went with WME / IMG, because of their vision for the company. In recent months, the UFC has taken some heat for some of the bouts the promotion’s booked, which have been more about moving tickets than rankings and merit. After all, Georges St-Pierre is about to fight Michael Bisping…
The consensus has been that this approach is due to how much money the new ownership group spent to acquire the promotion. $4 billion plus interest, with some profit to boot, requires some serious revenue.