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Valued at $1.65 billion, UFC lands at No. 10 on Forbes Fab 40 list of 'World's Most Valuable Sports Brands'

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Valued at $1.65 billion but as a brand worth just $440 million. How does that work? Forbes explains...

Stephen Pond

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), at one time, was $2 million in debt.

Now? It's worth about $1.65 billion.

Not bad for a mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion that legally, still cannot do business in the state of New York. In fact, that number is good enough to land UFC on the Forbes Fab 40 list of "World's Most Valuable Sports Brands" (via Lift Studios), not far behind Major League Baseball (MLB).

UFC is a new member of the Fab 40. The estimated value of the mixed martial arts promotion company is $1.65 billion (15 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), while the average business with the same profitability would be worth $1.21 billion (11 times operating income). The UFC brand is worth $440 million ($1.65 billion minus $1.21 billion).

Not surprisingly, Nike was No. 1.

The Forbes Fab 40 list consists of the 10 most valuable sports brands in four different categories including businesses (like UFC), events (Super Bowl), teams (New York Yankees), and athletes (LeBron James), then quantifies the earning power of each brand relative to its competitors.

See all four categories here.

In unrelated news, Cat Zingano -- ranked No. 1 in her weight class and scheduled for a UFC title fight in January -- was paid just $18,000 to compete last month in Las Vegas, Nevada.

World domination doesn't come cheap, I suppose.