On Saturday night, the UFC held UFC 200 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. But at the moment, the world’s most prominent MMA organization is celebrating more than just its 200th major event. According to CBS affiliate KLAS in Las Vegas and The New York Times, UFC is also celebrating the fact that it was just sold for an unprecedented amount of money. Though the sale isn’t 100 percent official just yet, the talent agency WME-IMG has agreed to purchase UFC for $4 billion from Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, who bought the company for $2 million in 2000.
The news about UFC being sold to WME-IMG was first reported by ESPN in late June, but initially, UFC president Dana White and others within the organization shot down the rumors surrounding the potential sale. However, both White and WMG co-CEO Ari Emanuel spoke with ESPN about the sale on Sunday night and talked about how it will impact the future of the organization.
"We’ve been honored to have UFC and a number of its athletes as clients and couldn’t be happier to take our relationship to this next level as the organization’s owner and operating partner," Emanuel said.
"[The] sport is going to the next level," White added.
White also posted this on Twitter on Sunday night:
As part of the $4 billion deal—which, according to ESPN, will go down as the most expensive transaction for an organization in sports history once it becomes official—the Fertitta brothers will step down from their current roles and relinquish control of the company. But White, who owns 9 percent of the UFC, will continue to serve as president of the company and will also reportedly be given an additional stake in the new UFC.
An official announcement about the UFC’s historic sale is expected to come sometime on Monday.