UFC Shoots Down Reports of $4.2 Billion Sale
After weeks of rumors, the UFC has reportedly been sold for a whopping $4.2 million... but not so fast, the company says the news is untrue.
ESPN previously reported that the MMA promotion was in "advanced talks" to sell for between $3.5 billion and $4 billion. However, UFC president Dana White quickly shut down the rumors, telling the Las Vegas Review-Journal: "The UFC is not for sale. The ESPN story is overblown. Darren Rovell is not a fan of facts. His facts could not be further off."
The reports of the sale sent shockwaves through the MMA community, and since then, a spokesperson for the UFC denied that a transaction has happened. "[The] report indicating that the UFC has been sold is false. We’ve communicated that to our staff members via an internal memo," a rep for the UFC told Forbes.
The UFC is owned by Zuffa, a company founded by billionaire brothers Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta. The casino magnates purchased the UFC back in 2001 for $2 million when it was on the verge of bankruptcy. Since then, the UFC has helped turn MMA (mixed martial arts) into one of the fastest growing sectors in professional sports, with their fights now broadcast to over 1 billion homes in 149 different countries.
Despite the growth, Forbes points out that Zuffa holds $475 million in debt obligations, which both Moody's and Standard & Poor's have rated "non-investment grade".