Throughout the course of the UFC’s buyout, fight fans were consistently in awe of the high figures being offered to the UFC.
Ultimately of course, the Fertitta brothers sold the promotion for $4 billion to WME-IMG. Interestingly enough however, UFC President Dana White has now revealed that the Fertittas received an offer to purchase the promotion for $5 billion. He went on to explain that not one, but two groups game forward and offered more money than WME-IMG, however the Fertitta brothers were adamant that the buyer share a similar vision for the promotion.
White spoke on The Exchange:
“There were two groups that came in for more money than (current UFC co-owner) Ari (Emanuel). There was one for $5 billion.”
“There’s people who I believe add value,” he said. “One of the million things that I respect about the Fertittas – they weren’t just going to let this thing go for the money. They were going to make sure it went to somebody who could actually take it and bring it to the next level.”
After WME-IMG purchased the company, White signed a new 5-year deal, something he has not spoken about publicly very often.
“I’m in. I love this. I’m not going anywhere. Everybody keeps asking me, ‘You signed a five year deal…’ – I signed a five-year deal because you have to sign a deal. I would have signed a 55-year deal.”
“At the end of the day, it’s not like, ‘Oh, you have a five-year deal, you have to work for five years.’ Nobody can make you work. If I said, ‘(Expletive) it, I’m done, I’m not doing this anymore,’ I can get up and walk out of here right now. Nobody can make you work. So no matter what you signed, you’re either here because you want to be here, or you’re not.”
“I want to continue to put on badass fights and break records. I said it a long time ago – this has the potential to be the biggest sport in the world. We have more potential now to reach more people so the world can see the fights.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/25/2017.