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The UFC gains investors in Tom Brady and Mark Wahlberg, among other celebrities

Thanks to WME-IMG, the UFC has grown to become a true powerhouse. The Hollywood talent agency acquired the UFC for over $4 billion dollars, providing it with endless opportunities. It looks like the agency’s famous clients want in on the action.

According to the Wall Street Journal, many celebrities have signed on to become investors of the fighting company. Among them are the aforementioned Brady and Wahlberg, Ben Affleck, Serena and Venus Williams, Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Levine, Maria Sharapova, Cam Newton and Sylvester Stallone. Conan O’Brien announced he was a small investor last night during his TV program Conan.


Conan joked that he himself would appear in the octagon, although I can’t see that ending well.

This is a huge opportunity for the UFC to utilize their new partnership. Many celebrities have attended UFC events before, but were never really open about it. Using their influence could help UFC gain more fans. After years of seclusion, a MMA event (UFC 205) will finally be in New York. It will be in the mecca, Madison Square Garden on November 12th. With New York as the hub for all entertainment, it made sense for a deal to happen.

Co-chief executive of WME-IMG Ari Emanuel specifically looked for fans of the sport to become investors. He see’s this as an opportunity to show that the UFC and MMA is for everyone. He stated in the WSJ:

“I think it’s a mainstream sport now.”

I believe MMA has been mainstream for a while now, due to the efforts of Ronda Rousey (who is a client of WME-IMG) and Conor McGregor. This deal further enhances my claim, and then some. The UFC now has celebrities officially backing them up, giving a huge boost to the future of MMA. Celebrities can now help promote any upcoming events (specifically UFC 205). Several fighters could even follow in the footsteps of Rousey and have parts in films. They do appear to have the right leaders for that opportunity.

Bruce Buffer may now have to include, “Lights, camera, action” when he announces the fighters. This news is another bright spot in an incredible 2016 for the company. The UFC has officially gone Hollywood!

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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