Since its founding in 1993 as “The Ultimate Fighting Championship”, the UFC has grown into a major sports franchise. Now, the mixed martial arts organization has been sold in one of the biggest deals ever in sports history.
CCTV’s Roee Ruttenberg had the details.
UFC sold for $4 billion, largest amount ever for sporting franchiseSince its founding in 1993 as “The Ultimate Fighting Championship”, the UFC has grown into a major sports franchise. Now, the mixed martial arts organization has been sold in one of the biggest deals ever in sports history. CCTV’s Roee Ruttenberg had the details.
From the streets to the stage, so called Ultimate Fighters have become ultimate stars. Men and women prepared to pummel their opponents to the floor.
It’s all part of a Hollywood-style branding used to promote their cage-fights, a multi-million dollar industry that’s morphed into a multi-billion dollar one.
Last Saturday, nearly 20,000 people filled an arena in Las Vegas, Nevada to watch a major UFC match, with more than a million others paid to watch at home. The power of the punch now felt across all 50 U.S. states and beyond.
The UFC has become a household name around the world. The crowd at this demonstration of UFC fighters in Rio de Janeiro couldn’t get enough.
UFC matches are now seen in more than 150 countries, helping explain Monday’s $ 4 billion price tag paid for the league, easily the largest amount ever spent on a sporting franchise.
The sale, a reflection of the growing global popularity of mixed martial arts, but also a reminder of the gap between the professional American league and the amateur fight clubs around the world.
Some Chinese fighters earn close to nothing, and share rooms. It seems they have guts, but little glory.
Many here hope they’ll be recruited to the UFC, and ultimately paid as Ultimate Fighters.
UFC’s buyer is WME-IMG, an American talent agency with a long client roster that includes some of the country’s highest paid sports personalities. In a statement released on Monday, WME-IMG said it’s committed to ensuring Ultimate Fighting’s continued growth and success on a global scale.
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