UFC was launched in 1993 and purchased for just $2 million in 2001 by casino operators Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta. When Fertitta brothers bought UFC back in 2001, it was bankrupt and literally going out of business then.
Ever since then, UFC has come a long way having and back in July 2016, Fertitta brothers and Dana White who had a percent share in the UFC in its previous guise as Zuffa-owned who sold the company for reported $4.2 Billion.
UFC has produced some of the biggest stars in all of the sports including UFC superstar Conor McGregor, Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre and now UFC also has big sponsors like Bud Light, Reebok, Harley-Davidson (), MetroPCS, EA Sports ( ), Toyo Tires and FRAM auto filters.
Endeavor (previously known as WME IMG) which has acquired the UFC are heavily invested in entertainment and sports. Endeavor co-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell are being recognized as two of the most powerful people in all of Hollywood.
When Endeavor bought the UFC, it sold some shares of the MMA promotion to its celebrity clients — people like Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Ben Affleck, LL Cool, The Weeknd, Serena Williams, Sylvester Stallone, Rob Dyrdek, Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Tyler Perry and Cam Newton.
However, UFC president Dana White is taking some serious heat from Democrat presidential candidate Andrew Yang for paying their fighters low wages and he also came out in support of Leslie Smith’s campaign Project Spearhead.
We are curious as to whether @markwahlberg @jimmykimmel @TheSlyStallone @BenAffleck @robdyrdek @tylerperry @GuyFieri @adamlevine @llcoolj @CalvinHarris @theweeknd @serenawilliams @Venuseswilliams @MariaSharapova are aware of how the @ufc mistreats its fighters? #ProjectSpearhead https://t.co/a6CN9GRV7C
— Project Spearhead (@ProjSpearhead) September 24, 2018
UFC recently signed a media rights deal in May with ESPN and streaming service ESPN+ valued at $1.5 billion over five years.