UFC currently considering two rival offers for multi-billion dollar takeover

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In the past few years, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has grown from a fairly niche sport that had to live in the shadows of the likes of boxing and, to some degree, even WWE, to arguably the most high-profile fight promotion in the world with gross earnings in 2015 of $600 million.

Inevitably, as the global interest from fans, advertisers and broadcasters has increased so too has the value of the organisation.

According to reports today, the UFC's current owners could be about to cash in on that interest with two rival takeover offers believed to be on the table and bidding "drawing closer to an end".


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Per ESPN's business reporter Darren Rovell, the UFC's current ownership are currently considering two offers worth in the region of $4.1 billion.

One offer comes courtesy of China Media Capital - a public equity and venture capital firm with offices in Shanghai and Beijing who's current investments include a five-year broadcast deal with soccer's Chinese Super League.

The other bid is from WME-IMG in conjunction with Dalian Wanda Group and, per Rovell, is "asking well-heeled investors to chip in $25 million to $50 million."

One of those 'well-heeled investors' is thought to be the Kraft Group who's founder is Robert Kraft, the owner of NFL franchise the New England Patriots.

The news comes on the back of reports last month suggesting the UFC had been put up for sale with an asking price of around $4 billion which had attracted interest from four parties.

It is unclear at this stage which of the two remaining offers is the frontrunner, but Rovell did add that they were both for the entire company.

of course, just because bids have been made does not mean that Zuffa - the UFC's current majority owners with an 80 percent stake following a $2 billion takeover back in 2001 - will agree to sell.

There is undoubtedly still plenty of negotiations that still lie ahead before any deal could be completed and, only last month, current UFC president Dana White denied he or any of the other parties with a stake in the organisation were planning to sell.

White's partners at Zuffa, the Fertitta brothers, would have a big say as would Abu Dhabi's Flash Entertainment who purchased a 10 percent stake back in 2010.

Nevertheless, it certainly appears there are serious conversations to be had in the weeks to come that could impact the future of the UFC. Although, it is thought White would remain involved in some capacity even if the company was sold in its entirety.

The question will likely be; do the current ownership think UFC's value has peaked or that the promotion will only see its fortunes improve moving forward.

With Ronda Rousey, Conor McGregor and Brock Lesnar all set to return to the octagon in the next six months after varying lengths of time away, it certainly looks like things are only heading in one direction.

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Dana White
Conor McGregor
Ronda Rousey

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