With the announced acquisition of the Ultimate Fighting Championship by the William Morris Endeavour – International Management Group, WME-IMG, speculation has run rampant. The larger than life personality to meet Dana White at the helm of the UFC will be none other than Ari Emanuel, the man often touted as the most powerful agent in Hollywood, alongside his longtime partner Patrick Whitesell. The pair have long, storied backgrounds in media representation on all fronts and larger than life personalities to match, specifically Emanuel.
Given their insightful reputation surrounding media properties, experts were surprised by the UFC’s sale price not only for the amount but for the fact that it was agreed upon by Emanuel and Whitesell, which alone speaks to the validity of the UFC’s deemed worth.
With Dana White’s experience and strong visionary qualities that have helped the UFC reach the heights in which it resides today, fans are curious to see how the addition of Emanuel and Whitesell will shape the organization going forward. Visionaries in their own right, the WME-IMG pair have connected the dots on the biggest media properties for years in terms of music, movies and sports- even having a hand in the sale of the UFC’s TV rights prior to the purchase.
In this article, we take a look at four distinct ways the UFC is about change following the sale. Given the hefty purchase price, the resources available by the new owners and the potential for more funding from it’s new equity partners like Silver Lake, the UFC is about to scale drastically and we outline exactly how they’ll do it.