The massive $4 billion sale of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to WME-IMG is officially signed, sealed and delivered, as former co-owner, Lorenzo Fertitta, had his last day as head cheese of the world’s leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organization on Wednesday (Aug., 17, 2016).
Though, company president Dana White will stay on for a five more years, Fertitta will move on to other ventures in his life, such as potentially bringing an NFL football team to "Sin City."
As for the new owners, who are led by none other than the biggest Hollywood agent in the business, Ari Emanuel, they sent out a letter to all fighters on the roster confirming the change of ownership.
Check it out via MMA Fighting:
"Our team's been honored to represent UFC and work with a number of you on the entertainment side for the past few years. We've had a front row seat as both a partner and as a fan to witness your dedication to this sport and UFC's remarkable work in growing MMA's popularity and elevating the organization on a global scale.
We couldn't be more excited for what the future holds for UFC and for all of you. As UFC's new operating partner, we will be working with Dana and the UFC team to amplify the work that's already been done by mobilizing all of the sports and entertainment assets we have available to us in our international network.
We look forward to working with you and welcome any ideas and feedback as we begin this new chapter together.
Ari Emmanuel & Patrick Whitesell, Co-CEOs, WME/IMG.
UFC 202 -- which is all set to pop off tonight (Sat., Aug. 20, 2016) in Las Vegas, Nevada (details here) — will be the first event under WME-IMG’s full control.
The event is expected to break pay-per-view (PPV) records, as Nate Diaz and company Featherweight champion Conor McGregor run it back for a second time in the main event of the evening.
Not a bad way to usher in the new era.