With WME-IMG’s $4 billion purchase of the UFC from Zuffa, everyone is wondering what kind of changes we will see with the biggest mixed martial arts promotion in the world.
“Every year that we’ve owned this, fighter pay has gone up every year,” White said (transcribed by Bloody Elbow) . “I think that Ari (Emanuel), IMG, they’re gonna really bring in a lot more sponsors, there’s gonna be television and movie opportunities for these guys. Again, we’re just gonna continue to make this thing bigger globally and make this sport more popular. People can’t wrap their brains around the fact that we don’t [sic] even have scratched the surface of how big this sport’s gonna be. And Ari and his team get it, my team definitely gets it, and I’m ready.”
When asked if UFC fighters will soon become the major pop stars of the world now that the talent agency powerhouse WME-IMG is the engine behind the UFC, White said he is positive about that.
“Absolutely. Listen, I come up with lots of content,” White said. “The library that I have from the past, the live fights, the ability to do all the different television shows, the talent that I have, I have 500 men and women under contract, talented people. Ari’s gonna help take that to the next level. I’m telling you guys. Look at these things that I said 15 years ago and listen to what I’m telling you today: Watch what happens in the next five years.”