Days After $21,000,000,000 Deal, Dana White Says UFC Was Equivalent to ‘Microsoft’ in 2016: “People Made a Lot of Money…”

Himakshu Vyas
|Published September 16, 2023

Since its inception in the early 90s, the UFC has seen exceptional growth, especially from the early 2000s. One of the prime reasons behind UFC’s growth over the years is Dana White’s leadership. Recently, combat sports giants WWE and UFC merged into the $21 billion entity, TKO. Just a few days after that deal, UFC president Dana White sat down for an interview with famous British journalist Piers Morgan and during their conversation, he recalled the 2016 UFC buyout by Endeavor. Interestingly, the UFC head honcho paralleled it with one of the world’s leading tech companies, Microsoft.

A few days ago, the New York Stock Exchange marked the historic TKO merger by displaying two giant belts outside their premises. As a result of the merger, the WWE will get a 49% stake and the UFC will get the majority 51% stake in TKO. Additionally, they listed TKO’s stock on the NYSE at $103 at the end of the first day.

Dana White compares UFC’s 2016 acquisition to Microsoft

Days after the merger, UFC President Dana White made an appearance in ‘Piers Morgan Uncensored,’ during which he delved into several topics including his personal life and businesses.

During the conversation, the UFC head honcho touched on the Endeavour’s $4 billion UFC acquisition, which happened back in 2016. While doing so, he revealed how a lot of people reaped the financially lucrative rewards as a result of the deal. White said:

When we sold the company in 2016, this was sort of like a Microsoft of fighting. There were a lot of people that made a lot of money and a lot of people left and they went and retired or moved on to other. You know, you have to have a certain type of drive to make that kind of money.

Microsoft is a giant in the tech industry. Furthermore, Bill Gates reaped substantial rewards by divesting his stake in Microsoft in 2014, securing a return of approximately $900 million.

Similarly, UFC is one of the biggest promotions in the combat sports realm. After acquiring the UFC for around $2 million in 2001, the Fertitta brothers sold their majority stake and UFC to Endeavor in 2016. Thus, White made parallels between UFC and the tech giant.

The 2016 Endeavor buyout

In July 2016, UFC’s buyout by Endeavor entered the history books by becoming the most expensive transaction for an organization in sports history.

However, it wasn’t smooth sailing for the UFC all the way. In its early days, it was considered too violent, resulting in bans in several places and difficulties in securing event venues.

From that point, the trio of Fertitta brothers and Dana White turned it into a $600 million revenue-generating company in 2015 before their subsequent sale.

The Fertitta brothers sold the majority of their shares and Dana White remained in the UFC with his 9% and some additional stakes in the promotion.

Years after the buyout, now the historic WWE/ UFC merger resulting in TKO has had fans curious about the next phase of the promotion. The excitement about potential crossover fights and new events will surely keep the fans on the edge of their seat.

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About the author

Himakshu Vyas

Himakshu Vyas

Himakshu Vyas, is a journalist with a passion for uncovering the truth and crafting captivating narratives. With a decade of die-hard Manchester United support and a love for soccer and MMA, Himakshu brings a unique perspective to the world of sports. His daily indulgence in MMA training keeps him fit and gives him the athlete's point of view. He's a huge fan of UFC's 'The Notorious' Connor McGregor and Jon Jones, admiring their dedication and discipline. When he's not exploring the world of sports, Himakshu loves to travel and cook, putting his own spin on different cuisines. Ready to deliver exceptional content, this dynamic and motivated journalist is always eager to share his insights with readers.

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