Who owns UFC? The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) was initiated in 1993. The objective was to determine which fighting style was the most effective in a real-world setting. The early days of the promotion were filled with controversy. However, from 2000 onward, the championship started to gain momentum. Since then, it has grown to be the world’s most prominent mixed martial arts (MMA) competition.
The UFC is currently owned by a holding company called Zuffa LLC. However, numerous investors have a stake in the company. The largest shareholder in Zuffa LLC is the talent agency WME-IMG. They acquired the UFC in 2016 for $4 billion. Other notable investors in the UFC include the Abu Dhabi government, Flash Entertainment, and the management company of Conor McGregor, Paradigm Sports Management.
In this quick read, we’ll explore the promotion’s history and UFC current ownership structure.
What Is UFC?
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a mixed martial arts promotion company. It was inaugurated by Art Davie and John Milius with the help of Rorion Gracie in 1993. And the competition hosted its debut championship in November 1993, featuring an eight-man tournament.
UFC events are typically divided into three different categories: pay-per-view events, which are the biggest and most anticipated events; live events, which are smaller events that are shown on cable or pay-per-view; and Fight Night events, which are free events that are broadcast on various television networks.
UFC also offers a subscription-based streaming service called UFC Fight Pass, which provides access to exclusive content and live broadcasts of UFC events. In addition to hosting MMA fights, UFC hosts other sporting events, such as boxing and kickboxing matches.
MMA is a full-contact sport that combines techniques from various disciplines, including boxing, wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Karate. And those who take part in the sport are known as “mixed martial artists”.
Who Owns UFC?
So, who actually owns the UFC? That would be Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc. It is a holding company and agency that deals with media, talent, and entertainment.
Interestingly, the UFC was almost sold in 2015 to a Chinese corporation known as the Dalian Wanda Group. However, the deal ultimately fell through. WME-IMG then stepped in and successfully completed the purchase of the UFC.
The UFC is just one piece of Endeavor Group Holdings’ more extensive portfolio. However, it is undoubtedly the most valuable property that the company owns.
While Endeavor Group Holdings is the UFC’s primary owner, several other investors also have a stake in the company.
The Abu Dhabi government, through its investment arm Abu Dhabi Sports Council, is one of the UFC’s major investors. Abu Dhabi first invested in the UFC in 2010 and has been a significant player in the company ever since.
Another notable investor in the UFC is Flash Entertainment, a United Arab Emirates-based company. Flash Entertainment has a minority stake in the UFC and a seat on the company’s Board of Directors.
The UFC is currently owned by an umbrella firm dealing in various aspects of the entertainment industry. The company purchased the UFC for $4 billion in 2016 and holds 50.1% of the organization’s shares. So, next time someone asks you, “Who owns the UFC?”, you can tell them that Endeavor Group Holdings owns the UFC.