Earlier this year, MMAOutsiders reported the possible news that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) may have been sold to a company out to Chinese company The Wanda Group, among other possible candidates in the running for possible new ownership in the next year or so. ESPN was the first to make a legitimate stake in this claim.
At the time, no sale had been made or finalized. That along with the UFC firmly denying any and all news regarding a potential sale, and the story seemed all but pure moot. Several months have passed yet the speculation of a sale has only grown more rampant. especially this past Monday when FloCombat.com reported that UFC officials had accepted a bid of 4.2 billion from the aforementioned Dalian Wanda Group. However when asked upon the legitimacy of the company’s ownership changing hands, UFC Vice President of Public Relations Dave Sholler denied any validity to the statements
“FloCombat.com’s report indicating that the UFC has been sold is false,” Sholler told MMAjunkie. “We’ve communicated that to our staff members tonight via an internal memo.”
MMAJunkie also obtained the email’s sents to all UFC employees denying any legitimacy to the FloCombat report which was signed by UFC CEO and co-founder Lorenzo Fertitta which read:
“A report today by FloCombat.com indicating that the company has been sold is false,” the email read. “This follows other false speculation in the press recently. Such misrepresentation of facts in the media negatively impacts our business, staff members and athletes. We have instructed our attorneys to investigate and take all appropriate legal actions against the parties publishing and contributing to these false stories. With International Fight Week and the historic UFC 200 rapidly approaching, we look forward to once again delivering a series of events that our fans won’t soon forget. We appreciate your hard work, diligence and commitment, and thank you for your focus as we continue to take the sport to new heights.”
The UFC was founded in 1993, and was purchased by Dana White and the Fertitta brothers for $2 million back in 2001.