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Saturday, June 22, 2024

UFC, WWE Eye Unified Future As $21B Merger Closes

  • The UFC and WWE will merge into TKO Holdings this week, valued at $21 billion.
  • Endeavor will have majority control of the company that will let UFC and WWE operate independently.
Aaron Meullion-USA TODAY Sports

Beyond the basic premise of fighting, the UFC and WWE don’t have all that much in common.

One is a brutal, no-holds-barred sport featuring some of the most fearless humans in the world. The other is one of the most successful scripted operations in sports entertainment powered by personalities with global star power.

But this week, the two will become one. On Tuesday, UFC — by way of parent company Endeavor, and WWE — expect to close their merger to combine the two entities into TKO Holdings. 

The new company, which will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange, will be valued at $21 billion. Endeavor will control 51% of TKO, with WWE controlling the other 49%.

What Does The Merger Mean?

At the outset, not much will change. Dana White will keep running the UFC, and WWE president Nick Khan will continue in his role. 

But looking ahead, both properties have major events and key media deals to negotiate.

Last month, tickets for WrestleMania 40 in April 2024 broke the all-time WWE gate record of $21.5 million less than 24 hours after going on sale. Meanwhile, speculation is mounting about who could fight at UFC 300 next spring — in what will be a monumental and lucrative event for the fighting promotion.

Further ahead, the UFC’s deal with ESPN+ expires in 2025, and the WWE’s respective media deals for SmackDown and Raw with Fox and USA Network are set to end in 2024.
There has been speculation the new TKO could create a singular streaming service to house some or all UFC/WWE content.

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