Late Sunday night, UFC president Dana White (pictured) tweeted out his infamous 🙂 emoji after agreeing to sell the UFC to WME-IMG for an astonishing $4 billion. While many of the specifics regarding the record-breaking sale are still under wraps, we now have a better understanding of why White is giddy like a schoolgirl.
According to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com, the man who White blasted in May after breaking the news that the UFC was closing in on a sale by stating, “Darren Rovell is not a fan of facts. His facts could not be further off,” is reporting that WME-IMG offered White a five-year contract to retain his post as the UFC frontman.
For compensation, White will walk away with nine percent of the UFC’s net profits for the next five years. In December, now-former UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta told CNN that the UFC grossed $600 million in 2015.
If that’s the case, the UFC roughly netted $200 million after tax and expenses. Assuming the UFC does at least that number moving forward, White will score about $18 million per year on top of his cash out check.
Nine isn’t just a arbitrary number, that’s the same percentage White owned of the UFC prior to the sale. At $4 billion, White will cash out at roughly $360 million when the deal officially closes in the coming months.
To help put things into perspective, Roger Goodell averaged $21 million a year for his first 10 years as the NFL’s commissioner. Per CNN, the NFL generated about $12 billion for the 2015 season alone.
It is unknown if White retains any ownership of the UFC following WME-IMG’s acquisition. It’s also not clear if WME-IMG intends on keeping White at the helm after his new deal expires or if it was a requirement to retain White in order to get the UFC to sell to them.
For fighters hoping to see increases in salary now that the UFC is under new ownership, sorry. White has an even greater incentive now more than ever to cut costs in order to maximize profits.