Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the UFC, has just announced they have indeed sold a 10% minority stake in their company to Flash Entertainment, a wholly owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi’s government.
“Flash is an independent live events and entertainment organization based in the United Arab Emirates,” UFC president Dana White stated in an official release. “Its sole shareholder is the government of Abu Dhabi.
“We got to know these guys discussing an event in Abu Dhabi. This led to the investment conversation. After conducting in-depth due diligence, they saw the tremendous global potential of the UFC brand. The guys who run this company are young, hip, aggressive visionaries. They are big thinkers.”
Prior to closing the deal, Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta owned 90 percent of Zuffa, while White controlled the remaining 10%. There is no word on how those figures changed after the transaction or what Flash’s direct involvement in the company would be.
Flash Entertainment chairman, Ossama Khoreibi, reiterated they intend to assist the world’s biggest MMA organization in their pursuit of world dominance.
“Since our very first meeting, we were impressed by Lorenzo, Frank and Dana’s commitment to growing the UFC as a global sport,” Khoreibi stated. “Flash is equally committed to building Abu Dhabi’s profile as an international entertainment destination, and this partnership provides further proof of our company’s bold ambitions.
“We look forward to an exciting future ahead, working closely with our UFC partners to activate this sport in the UAE, the region and across the world.”
FiveOuncesofPain.com broke news of the sale last week, however reported that Sheik Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, son of the former United Arab Emirates president Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, had purchased a portion of the company.
UFC brass have long professed their interest in bringing on additional investors, however White made it perfectly clear the trio would still be calling the shots no matter what.
In short, please deposit your funds into our account, now shut up and enjoy the ride.
Abu Dhabi was tagged as the single richest city in the world by Fortune Magazine back in 2007. It’s the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates and accounts for roughly 9% of the world’s proven oil reserves and almost 5% of the world’s natural gas.
Although not “officially” announced by the organization, UFC 112 is rumored for April 10th in Abu Dhabi.
Here are the fighters rumored for the UFC’s debut in their new partner’s backyard:
Kendall Grove vs. TBD
Matt Hughes vs. Renzo Gracie
Frankie Edgar vs. BJ Penn (UFC Lightweight Champion)
Vitor Belfort vs. Anderson Silva (UFC Middleweight Champion)