After a brief flurry of activity in June, news of a possible UFC sale has died down and faded into the background … exactly as UFC execs probably hoped it would coming into UFC 200. In an interview on the UFC Unfiltered podcast, president Dana White called rumors of a sale “one of the most disruptive things to ever go on in the history of the company.” It’s not the kind of distraction you want your employees (or the press) hyper-focusing on before the marquee event of the year.
Currently, no one has confirmation one way or another that a sale will go through. But there’s an awful lot of specifics about a potential buyout, from a $4.2 billion price tag to the names of the buyers, which includes William Morris Endeavor-IMG and the Robert Kraft family. So there’s a lot of smoke. And here’s owner Lorenzo Fertitta trying to convince you there is no fire.
“Look, if we bring on an investor or something happens, we’ll let everyone know,” Fertitta said in an interview with the LA Times. “What’s happening — this is standard. Any company, this size and magnitude, you don’t talk about things you’re working on in strategical terms. So there’s nothing to report.”
Dana White was less ambiguous with his answer.
“Most of the free world thinks me and the Fertittas don’t own the UFC anymore,” he said. “It’s unbelievable. We own the UFC. We did not sell the UFC. We own it.”
So is it true? There’s nothing that doesn’t prevent White’s statements and the rumors of a sale from both being true. For now, the Fertittas and White still own the UFC. They haven’t technically sold it … yet. Is a deal agreed upon to sell it? We’ll only know for sure if and when an official announcement is made, and it sounds like that won’t happen until all eyes are off UFC 200.