Bids for UFC gather pace

June 17, 2016

Bids to take ownership of the mixed martial arts series Ultimate Fighting Championship seem to be gathering pace.

Robert Kraft, the owner of the NFL American football franchise, the New England Patriots, is thought to be one of the investors in a takeover bid that is being led by IMG, with support from WWE.

ESPN reported that Kraft has agreed to invest between $25m and $50m in the potential acquisition. A pontential deal is rumoured to be worth around $4bn.

But IMG are not the only bidders – reports have claimed as many as four parties have an interest in buying the series, owned by Zuffa.

Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group is thought to be one of the parties, along with public equity and VC firm China Media Capital, US private equity group Blackstone, as well as IMG/WWE.

Zuffa bought UFC in 2001 for only $2m, and have grown the sport into one of the most successful sports brands today.

iSportconnect recently caught up with UFC’s James Elliott, General Manager EMEA, which you can read here –