Given the less than stable start to UFC, it has grown to be the market leader in the world of Mixed Martial Arts. Dana White is seen as the man that held the UFC together in the early days when its future was less than secure. White had a dream, or rather a vision, of exactly where he wanted the UFC to be. Guided by this vision, he brought on board the Fertitta brothers who paid $2 million to buy the UFC back in 2001. What has happened since may leave fans astounded by how much the UFC is now worth according to Betway Sports.
A hard days work for a decent days pay
Knowing how much the UFC is currently worth, it would be expected that the fighters are handsomely rewarded for their efforts: after all, it is their blood that spills, and their bones that break. Where White is a media machine, one thing he appears not to be is a fair boss: high profile fighters often leave the UFC over pay disputes. There are claims that fighters have been underpaid for years and many quit to receive better pay elsewhere. Given the worth of UFC, many would expect the fighters to be paid the right pay.
No job is safe despite the valuation
Lack of job security is an unfortunate way of modern life: it is rare to hold down the same job for the whole of your working life. This is the case as the economy can be unstable, companies struggle, and have to let staff go. The UFC, despite it's worth, provides no security for its fighters: with Yoel Romero being the first, there are 60 more jobs to go. White reports that serious cuts are needed, but given the worth of the UFC, the reasons for this are a mystery.
So what is the UFC actually worth?
The Fertitta brothers paid a mere $2 million for the UFC back in 2001. The word 'mere' is used as by 2016, the UFC was valued at a staggering $4 billion. The Fertitta brothers have no doubt had a decent return on investment, so it isn't overly clear where the fighters do not receive a decent wage (although to be fair to the UFC, would around $150,000 per year do for most people?), and why there are at least 60 job cuts on their way.
White and co have constantly battled to keep the UFC on the up and to keep the UFC at the top of the MMA world. This saw them being the last sport to cease before Covid-19 lockdowns, and the first to resume afterward. Why the push to keep the UFC going? Because, the more fights and the more publicity, the higher the value goes, especially when factoring in huge fights such as the one coming up between McGregor and Poirier on January 23rd.
So, to finally get to the point, what is the UFC actually worth? The answer is, we don't know. White has claimed in a recent interview that the UFC is now worth at least $9 billion. With poor pay and job cuts in sight, the value of the UFC has skyrocketed.
Takahiro Onaga is a regular contributor to Asian Boxing and will now be a featured writer in his own column where his takes his shot at various things in the boxing world.