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The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is an American MMA promotion company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is owned and operated by Endeavor Group Holdings, Silver Lake Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and MSD Capital through Zuffa, LLC.

It is the world’s largest MMA promotion company, with a roster that includes some of the sport’s top fighters. The UFC holds events all over the world that feature twelve weight divisions (eight men’s divisions and four women’s divisions) and follow the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. The UFC has held over 500 events as of 2020.

Dana White has been the president of the UFC since 2001. Under White’s leadership, the UFC has grown into a multibillion-dollar global phenomenon.

Beginning

Art Davie proposed an eight-man single-elimination tournament called “War of the Worlds” to John Milius and Rorion Gracie. The tournament was inspired by the Gracie family of Brazil’s Gracies in Action video series, which featured Gracie jiu-jitsu students defeating martial artists from various disciplines such as karate, kung fu, and kickboxing.

Source: mmajunkie.com

The tournament would also feature martial artists from various disciplines facing off in no-holds-barred combat to determine the best martial art, with the goal of replicating the excitement of the matches Davie saw on the videos.

Milius, a well-known film director and screenwriter who also happens to be a Gracie student, agreed to serve as the event’s creative director. Davie wrote the business plan, and twenty-eight investors contributed the seed money to launch WOW Promotions, with the goal of turning the tournament into a television franchise.

WOW Promotions was looking for a television partner in 1993 and approached pay-per-view producers TVKO (HBO) and SET (Showtime), as well as Campbell McLaren and David Isaacs of the Semaphore Entertainment Group (SEG).

Both TVKO and SET declined, but SEG – a pioneer in pay-per-view television who had produced events such as a man vs. woman tennis match between Jimmy Connors and Martina Navratilova. In May 1993, WOW became a partner.

Jason Cusson, a video and film art director, was contacted by SEG to design the trademarked “Octagon,” a signature piece for the event. Cusson worked as the Production Designer until UFC 27. EG came up with the name The Ultimate Fighting Championship for the show.

The UFC promoted the event at first as a real-life fighting video game tournament akin to Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat.

On November 12, 1993, WOW Promotions and SEG staged the first event, later dubbed UFC 1, at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado. The show’s booker and matchmaker was Art Davie.

Following UFC 5 in Charlotte, North Carolina, in April 1995, Davie and Gracie sold their stake in the franchise to SEG and disbanded WOW Promotions. Davie remained with SEG as the show’s booker and matchmaker, as well as the Ultimate Fighting commissioner, until December 1997.

Net worth

However, the company’s net worth has not been harmed by its rocky relationship with ESPN, as well as the loss of some of the UFC’s biggest stars. According to Forbes, White stated that the UFC is now worth around $7 billion, thanks in part to the ESPN deal. White stated this in 2018, and it is entirely possible that the UFC is now worth even more.

However, the company’s net worth has not been harmed by its rocky relationship with ESPN, as well as the loss of some of the UFC’s biggest stars. According to Forbes, White stated that the UFC is now worth around $7 billion, thanks in part to the ESPN deal. White stated this in 2018, and it is entirely possible that the UFC is now worth even more.

The fact that Nurmagomedov and Masvidal are very popular fighters show that the UFC doesn’t need to rely on McGregor to make money. It also shows that the UFC’s financial future is probably in good hands.

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