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UFC, a mixed martial arts league, and WWE, a wrestling promotion company, will form a new publicly listed firm worth more than $21 billion which will manage both brands. Endeavor will hold a 51% controlling interest in the new venture, while WWE shareholders will hold a 49% interest. Endeavor CEO Ariel Emanuel will serve as chief executive of the company and WWE Executive Chairman Vince McMahon will likewise retain his current role.
“This is a rare opportunity to create a global live sports and entertainment pureplay built for where the industry is headed,” Emanuel said in a press release. “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.”
UFC will be valued at $12.1 billion in the deal, while WWE will be valued at $9.3 billion. News of the venture broke on Sunday evening amid the latter company’s annual Wrestlemania event.
“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,” McMahon said in the press release. “The new company will be well positioned to maximize the value of our combined media rights, enhance sponsorship monetization, develop new forms of content and pursue other strategic mergers and acquisitions to further bolster our strong stable of brands.”
UFC President Dana White will continue to serve in his position. The executive recently garnered controversy after footage emerged showing him slapping his wife, Anne, at a New Year’s Eve party moments after she slapped his face. White expressed regret over the incident in subsequent interviews, while his wife said that the spat was out of character for the couple, who have been married for nearly three decades.
“This is one of those situations that’s horrible, I’m embarrassed, but it’s also one of those situations that right now we’re more concerned about our kids,” White commented. “We have three kids and obviously, since the video popped up, we’ve shown the kids the video and we’re more focused on our family right now.”
UFC has also developed a penchant for rejecting cancel culture in recent years. Holly Holm used her recent women’s bantamweight victory speech to denounce “the sexualization of our children,” while men’s middleweight champion Israel Adesanya called for the public naming and repercussions of “pedos” associated with deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein and his incarcerated longtime confidant Ghislaine Maxwell.
Advertisements for “Terror on the Prairie,” a movie produced by The Daily Wire and Bonfire Legend, have aired during UFC events. Gina Carano, the star of the film which debuted last summer, fought in the UFC before she started her acting career, which was resurrected by The Daily Wire after Disney nixed the conservative actress from her role in “The Mandalorian.”