The New Era of Combat Sports: UFC Parent Group Purchases WWE in $9.3bn Deal

  • The Endeavor Group purchased the UFC in 2016
  • Vince McMahon and Dana White will remain in power
  • Endeavor’s CEO envisions a pure play for combat sports
  • WWE produces viral moments that can grow visibility
WWE match
UFC parent company Endeavor Group is acquiring WWE for $9.3bn. [Image:]

WWE and UFC under same ownership

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE) is expected to be sold to UFC parent Endeavor Group, which reportedly values it at $9.3bn.

headed over to the control of Endeavor, which purchased UFC in 2016

America’s favorite wrestling federation has been under the direction of the McMahon family since it was founded under the name Capitol Wrestling Corporation in 1953. It is now headed over to the control of Endeavor, which purchased UFC in 2016 and will have a 51% stake in the company. 

Ari Emmanuel, CEO of Endeavor, is expected to assume the lead of WWE in both the short and long-term. Vince McMahon will remain in place as an executive chairman, according to reports.

End of a long reign 

McMahon, 77, separated from WWE in 2022 amid accusations of sexual assault and making under-the-table payments. He returned on January 10 to help steer the company and ultimately lead to its sale.

The longtime WWE owner said that he believes Endeavor’s history of growth makes them an ideal candidate to sell to.

I believe that this is without a doubt the best outcome”

“Given the incredible work that Ari and Endeavor have done to grow the UFC brand – nearly doubling its revenue over the past seven years – and the immense success we’ve already had in partnering with their team on a number of ventures, I believe that this is without a doubt the best outcome for our shareholders and other stakeholders,” said McMahon. 

Despite the acquisition, WWE CEO Nick Khan is expected to retain his place in the company. UFC president Dana White will also be unaffected by the new addition to Endeavor’s portfolio.

WWE and UFC’s combined valuations reach a staggering $21.4bn. Now that they are under the direction of the same owner, the possibilities are limitless.

“This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pure play built for where the industry is headed,” said Emanuel. “For decades, Vince and his team have demonstrated an incredible track record of innovation and shareholder value creation, and we are confident that Endeavor can deliver significant additional value for shareholders by bringing UFC and WWE together.”

Fitting showmanship 

WWE has usually prioritized theatrics in creating its scripts. Fighters have jumped off a steel cage to bodyslam their opponent, people in wheelchairs have been shoved down flights of stairs, and metal chairs are regularly used to batter athletes in the head.

But seemingly more so than ever before, WWE has been focused on generating viral moments recently. The latest example came at WrestleMania 39 Sunday when Logan Paul jumped off the turnbuckle and drove his PRIME sports drink business partner Olajide “KSI” Olatunji, dressed in a full-body PRIME suit, through a nearby table.

At the same event, Snoop Dogg seemed to improvise a stunt-gone-wrong after Shane McMahon tore his quad muscle by punching, dropping the people’s elbow on, and eventually pinning pro wrestler The Miz.

All of that fits in great with what is going on in the UFC and in White’s new Power Slap league.

Power Slap has repeatedly gone viral for its brutal strikes and reactions from the public

The UFC recently welcomed all-time great Jon Jones back into the ring for a world heavyweight title fight with Ciryl Gane, which the former won via first-round submission. Meanwhile, Power Slap has repeatedly gone viral for its brutal strikes and reactions from the public, matching the intrigue of WWE. 

WWE’s television deals with FOX and NBC Universal both expire next year, at which time Endeavor will have a major opportunity to set the course for the company’s future.

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