Dana White: UFC Got Offers for $5 Billion
Last year was one of the most significant in the history of the UFC, as the top MMA promotion was sold to WME-IMG for just over $4 billion. It was a monumental feat for the Fertitta brothers and Dana White, who bought the company for just $2 million — but White says now that they could have made even more.
In an interview with Megan Olivia for UFC Fight Pass, White detailed the process of selling the UFC when his partner Lorenzo Fertitta decided that he wanted out. They took multiple offers and ultimately decided to sell to talent agency WME-IMG led by Ari Emanuel. As is turns out, Emanuel’s offer was not the biggest one on the table.
“Let me be honest with you, when we were doing this deal there were two groups that came in for more money than Ari [Emanuel]," White said. "There was one [offer] for $5 billion.”
The reason they ended up selling to Emanuel was not just because of his offer, but because White and Fertitta believed that WME-IMG was the right group to bring the UFC and the sport of MMA to the next level.
“There’s people who I believe add value," White said. "One of the million things I respect about the Fertitta’s, they weren’t just going to let this thing go for the money. They were going to make sure it went to somebody who could actually take it and bring it to the next level.
Ari is one of these guys, he’s got huge balls, he’s very smart, and he has laid out a really great plan for the sport. The vision that Ari has for it right now, I am on board and I love it.”
When the sale took place and the Fertittas exited the UFC, many believed the writing was on the wall for White to make his own departure in the near future. But as the UFC President says, he has no plans to be leaving anytime soon. Last year he received the biggest payday of his career, but his hunger to grow the UFC hasn’t faded.
“Me and Ari could not be in a better place. I could not be a bigger believer in what we’re going to do over the next five years and what these guys bring to the table. I’m in. I love this. I’m not going anywhere.”