Ultimate Fighting Championship
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is an American mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is owned and operated by Zuffa, a wholly owned subsidiary of Endeavor Group Holdings. It is the largest MMA promotion in the world as of 2022. It produces events worldwide that showcase 12 weight divisions (eight men's and four women's) and abides by the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. As of 2022[update], it had held over 600 events. Dana White has been its president since 2001. Under White's stewardship, it has grown into a global multi-billion-dollar enterprise.
|Industry||Mixed martial arts promotion|
|Dana White (president)|
The UFC was founded by businessman Art Davie and Brazilian martial artist Rorion Gracie, and the first event was held in 1993 at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado. The purpose of the early Ultimate Fighting Championship competitions was to identify the most effective martial art in a contest with minimal rules and no weight classes between competitors of different fighting disciplines. In subsequent events, more rigorous rules were created and fighters began adopting effective techniques from more than one discipline, which indirectly helped create a separate style of fighting known as present-day mixed martial arts. In 2016, UFC's parent company, Zuffa, was sold to a group led by Endeavor, then known as William Morris Endeavor (WME–IMG), including Silver Lake Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and MSD Capital for US$4.025 billion. In 2021, Endeavor bought out Zuffa's other owners at a valuation of $1.7 billion.
With a TV deal and expansion in Australia, Asia, Europe, and new markets within the United States, the UFC has achieved greater mainstream media coverage. It earned US$609 million in 2015, and its next domestic media rights agreement with ESPN was valued at $1.5 billion over a five-year term.
In April 2023, Endeavor Group Holdings announced that UFC would merge with the wrestling promotion WWE to form TKO Group Holdings, a new public company majority-owned by Endeavor, with Vince McMahon serving as an executive chairman of the new entity and White remaining as UFC president. The merger is expected to be completed in the second half of 2023.