According to The New York Times and Las Vegas’ CBS affiliate KLAS, the UFC has been sold for $4 billion to WME-IMG talent agency and private equity firms Silver Lake, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Michael S. Dell.
Despite denying rumors in the past several weeks, UFC president Dana White confirmed the sale to ESPN and the Associated Press late Sunday night. White also told ESPN that his role within the organization would remain the same, while previous owners, casino moguls Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, will transition into minority investor roles, according to NYT. The Fertitta brothers purchased the fighting consortium for a sum of $2 million in 2000.
The Fertitta brothers return on their investment in UFC over a 16 year time frame is 142,700%, factoring for inflation. — Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 11, 2016
The deal, expected to be announced officially Monday, “stands as the most expensive transaction for an organization in sports history,” according to ESPN Sports Business Analyst Darren Rovell and ESPN UFC Analyst Brett Okamoto.
Watch below as Okamoto joined SportsCenter’s John Anderson to discuss what the sale of the UFC means for the future of the sport and its fan base:
Information from ESPN.com, The New York Times and CNBC.com contributed to this report.