How Dana White Turned UFC Into MMA Empire

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The UFC (Ulitmate Fighting Championship) and the sport of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), has seen a drastic rise in popularity in viewership since Dana White and his partners purchased UFC in 2001 for $2 million. White said that when he and the Fertittas acquired the UFC, all they received was the brand name "UFC" and an old octagon.

Since the purchase, Dana White and his partners have turned the company into a multi-billion dollar operation. 

After struggling to acquire new viewers and a decline in popularity of the sport, the UFC was on the verge of bankruptcy when Station Casino executives Frank and Lorenzo Fertittas teamed up with White and made an offer to purchase the UFC. A month later, in January 2001, the Fertittas and White bought the UFC for $2 million and created Zuffa, LLC as the parent entity controlling the UFC.

On July 9, 2016, it was officially announced that the UFC would be sold to a group led by WME–IMG, for $4.025 billion. At the time, it marked the largest-ever acquisition in sports. Lorenzo Fertitta stated that the new ownership, "with whom we've built a strong relationship over the last several years, is committed to accelerating UFC's global growth," and that they "share the same vision and passion for this organization and its athletes." 

At the time of the sale White owned 9% of the company at the time of the sale. White announced he would continue in his role as president, and was given a stake in the new business.

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