Zuffa Reportedly Accepts Offer For Sale Of UFC

The MMA world is in for some big changes.

From left, Dana White, UFC president, Lorenzo Fertitta, chairman and CEO of UFC, and John Landgraf, president of FX Networks, announce a multi-year, multi-platform agreement between Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Fox Media Group, at a news confe
Reed Saxon/AP

The keys to the kingdom are being handed off to a new set of owners.

Jeremy Botter of FloCombat has confirmed through multiple sources that Zuffa, Inc. will be accepting an astronomical $4.2 billion offer for ownership of the UFC. The group who submitted the winning bid consists of WME-IMG, The Dalian Wanda Group, The Kraft Group and Tencent Holdings.

The sale was conducted through a sealed bidding process overseen by investment bank Goldman-Sachs, with many companies initially filing separate bids. When the bidders weren't able to hit the mark on their own, they consolidated their offer.

The Dalian Wanda Group is a Chinese conglomerate and the world's biggest private property developer and owner and the world's largest cinema chain operator that also owns Infront Sports & Media, which distributes broadcasting rights to some of the world's biggest sporting events such as FIFA.

The Kraft Group is best known for being the owners of the NFL's New England Patriots, while Tencent Holdings owns and operates the largest internet portal in China, as well as Riot Games, the company behind the popular League of Legends.

The sources state that the majority of the capital is being supplied by The Dalian Wanda Group and Tencent Holdings, while WME-IMG and the Kraft Group will act as the faces of the new ownership.

This isn't the first time Zuffa has entertained offers for the UFC. In 2014 a potential sale to The Blackstone Group fell through, and the following year Fox made an attempt to purchase the organization but their offer was for less than half of the valuation Zuffa was seeking.

For fans and fighters worried about how the ownership change will affect the everyday operations, Dana White is reportedly staying on with the company in his position as President. His ownership stake in Zuffa is being sold as part of the deal and he will then be granted new shares to remain on board.

Former head of Manchester City football club Garry Cook is rumored to be in line as the next CEO, with his job being to focus on expanding UFC's business into new markets, while Joe Silva and Sean Shelby will remain in their position as matchmakers.

We'll have more on this story as it develops.

 
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Brad Hamilton is a writer, musician and early education adminstrator in his mid-30s from Atlanta, Georgia. He's married to his dream woman, spends too little time being productive and defines himself as the literary version of Brock Lesnar.

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