The UFC was once on the verge of extinction, but now its value has more than tripled.
The UFC has grown tremendously throughout the years. In 2001, UFC was in danger of being wiped out, now it has an estimated value of $9-10 billion. UFC President Dana White, spoke with TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter on the growth of the UFC in 2020, despite the pandemic.
“It’s the best year we have ever had. Crazy to say that. We broke just about every record we have except for the live gate, obviously. It was a very challenging year for us, to pull all this stuff off. It was without a doubt the hardest year of my career,” White said.
The growth of the UFC
The UFC was bought by Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta in 2001 for $2 million. With the help of White, they were able to turn the ailing sport around. In 2016, the UFC was sold by Zuffa LLC to WME-IMG for $4 billion. In 2018, UFC signed a broadcast deal with ESPN. The deal consisted of ESPN broadcasting 30 events per year over five years.
Since these deals, the organization has had a series of blockbuster fights that brought in millions from pay per view. In 2021 UFC 257 sold1.5 million PPVs. The promotion has also seen growth in viewership on ESPN and via social media, as per White’s interview with TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter.
“Our social media growth was massive this year,” he added. “We surpassed 10 million followers on YouTube, earning us Diamond Play status—second only to the NBA among sports organizations worldwide. Our Instagram growth in the US went up 38.17 percent—we’re second only to the NBA again. Second most views on Instagram compared to all other US-based sports—number two to the NBA—and the Joaquin Buckley [viral knockout] was massive. It broke all kinds of records.”
With the way things are going for the UFC, the organization is on pace to be the most successful MMA promotion company in the world.