Rumors are swirling that Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta are no longer the proud owners of the UFC. TMZ reported on Wednesday that the transfer of the UFC is not even close to being complete, and it may not happen.
TMZ sources revealed that there are negotiations for the company, but they are not even close to being final yet. The source disclosed that it isn’t apparent right now if the whole company will be sold or just a portion. The Fertitta brothers have not agreed on a price to let go of the billion dollar empire.
Several months ago, UFC President Dana White revealed that in 2001 the Fertitta brothers decided that they were all in business together, and would decide any major decisions as a family. White is a UFC employee and a partial owner, so one could assume he has a say in whether or not the UFC will be sold to a new owner.
The Score reports that the sale was agreed upon on June 23 and to expect a formal announcement in the next few weeks. The newest report seems to contradict the previous claim that the deal wasn’t close to being agreed. The new ownership will not transfer until the paperwork is complete — which could take months.
Reportedly, the future UFC owners put another offer on the table for Dana White. They want the deal to come with White as the president, with a stake in the company. It’s no secret that part of the reason the UFC is so successful is due to Dana’s hard work and dedication to the company and the MMA fighters. He loves the sport, and it shows in his interviews and press conferences. Would the UFC survive without Dana as the president? Maybe, but would it be the same? Probably not.
For the past few months, two companies have been in a bidding war for control of the UFC — WME-IMG and China Media Capital. Sources claim that WME co-chair Ari Emanuel has asked his investors to chip in between $25-50 million to meet the $4.1 billion price tag to own UFC.
— M2K ▪ (@i1440) May 12, 2016
ESPN reached out to UFC President Dana White about the bidding coming to a close, and he refused to comment. He had previously denied that the empire was for sale and has claimed they would “never sell.” Maybe the Fertitta brothers changed their minds.
— M2K ▪ (@i1440) May 12, 2016
Larry Brown Sports reported in May that White stated he would not want to work for UFC under new ownership. If the UFC is transferred to a new owner for $3.1 billion, Dana’s minority stake of 10 percent would be a massive payday. Is it possible that Dana may want to retire or consider doing something new? It’s a definite possibility.
“I don’t know. I don’t know how that would all work out, but I’ll tell you this — the day we decide to sell, I probably don’t want to do this anymore. I love this. I love this business. I love the sport. I jump out of bed every day excited to go to work. And listen, me and Fertitta brothers have been together a long time. We’re very close friends. We work well together. Something we did would be a mutual decision and we’d probably all be looking to get out.As far as the UFC being for sale, I’ve said this a million times, we get offers on the UFC all the time. It started in 2010. We got our first offer for the company, which was over $1 billion and we turned it down.We’re not up for sale. We’re always working on deals and our expansion globally. I’ve been saying since this thing came out, no, we’re not for sale, but let me tell you what. If somebody shows up with $4 billion, we can talk. We can definitely talk.”
It looks like the UFC is at the very least entertaining offers and reevaluating whether it is time to sell the billion dollar empire. Only time will tell what they will ultimately decide to do.
UFC fans, do you think the empire is up for grabs? Do you think Dana White will leave the organization? Stick with the Inquisitr for all your UFC news and updates.
[Photo by Jayne Russell/Getty Images]