Local News


UPDATE: UFC on the verge of being sold?

Posted at 6:11 PM, May 10, 2016

LATEST: ESPN is reporting the UFC is on the verge of being sold.

Two companies are reportedly in the mix for the MMA giant, and the offers are said to be upwards of $4 billion. The UFC says it's not commenting on a public sale.
The Fertittas, who are at the helm of Station Casinos, currently own about 80 percent of the UFC.

UPDATE: The UFC is big business for the Las Vegas valley, from events to sports betting to the massive headquarters being built at Jones Boulevard and the 215 Beltway. So, if it were to be sold and moved, it could be a financial hit to the area.

"It's a significant economic impact, I mean they have a lot of events, it reaches a wide variety of people and their audience quite frankly is international," said Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak.
But Sisolak said he's not too concerned about the headquarters moving out of the area, considering a large facility for the UFC is still under construction.
"It's a large investment they are making into that property, so I'm sure they are going to follow through with that," said Sisolak.
The facility aside, Sisolak said there's just so much that Las Vegas and Clark County offers to the UFC.
"I would be surprised if they decided to move it. Frankly, a lot of their events are held in Las Vegas. I mean there's great appeal in the casinos, out of visitors both domestic and international to take it somewhere else I don't think you'd have that synergy that's here," said Sisolak.
But with rumored bids as high as $4 billion, it's hard to say what could happen. Jay Kornegay with the Westgate Superbook said for the sports betting world, the big concern is if changes are made to the way the fights work.
"How there are certain fighters that must meet other top contenders, that's real a big attraction for fight fans out here, unlike boxing where you can actually avoid some of the top fighters," said Kornegay.
He worries that if that happens, people could lose interest in the sport and that could mean fewer bets.
"The UFC, they have a format where the top contenders must fight each other and they fight them on a regular basis so if that were to change I think it would affect the betting dramatically," explained Kornegay.

ORIGINAL STORY: The owners of the Las Vegas-based UFC are in "advanced talks" to sell the business.

ESPN is reporting there are several bids for the mixed martial arts business, some as high as $4 billion. Some of the reported bidders include WME/IMG, China Media Capital, The Blackstone Group and Dalian Wanda Group.

Zuffa LLC bough the UFC back in 2001 for $2 million.

The Fertitta family, owners of Station Casinos, are heavily involved in UFC. We have reached out to Red Rock Resorts for comment.

However, David Scholler, the vice president of public relations and athlete marketing for the UFC, said in a statement, "As a private company, we don't discuss speculation or rumors related to our business."

Mike PeQueen, managing director of Hightower Las Vegas, didn't have any knowledge of the sale but said the most important thing for the local economy in a potential sale would be that the company stay headquartered in Las Vegas.

"UFC is a private company so we don't really know the complete story on the ownership and the value, but it has been a big part of our local economy. We would always hope that if there is a sale they keep these operations here in Las Vegas," PeQueen said.