Because the Ultimate Fighting Championship is a privately-held company, all of their financial numbers are kept under lock and key. However, accordig to Forbes.com, the planet’s premier mixed martial arts promotion is printing money out of their Las Vegas headquarters.
The UFC made Forbes’ exclusive “The Forbes Fab 40” list for 2014, which consists of the 10 most valuable sports brands in businesses, events, teams and athletes, and quantifies the earning power of each brand relative to its competitors.
“Ultimate Fighting Championship is the world’s largest promoter of mixed martial arts events and the UFC brand is now synonymous with MMA,” Forbes states.
Forbes estimates the UFC’s value is $1.65 billion (15 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), while the average business with the same profitability would be worth $1.21 billion (11 times operating income). According to Forbes’ number cruncher, the UFC brand is worth $440 million ($1.65 billion minus $1.21 billion).
Not too shabby for a company that was THIS close to going under shortly after purchasing the promotion in 2001 for a measly $2 million.
Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the UFC, is co-owned by Lorenzo (40.5%) and Frank Fertitta (40.5%), UFC president Dana White (9%) and Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan of Flash Entertainment (10%).
FYI – White made GQ Magazine’s “Sleaziest in Sports” list in August because, “Turns out underpaying your UFC employees, bullying rivals, and generally impersonating Don King as a bald white guy doesn’t do wonders for your charisma!”
Forbes had Nike coming in first under this category (Businesses) with a $19 billion valuation.
(Pictured: UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta)