The value of the UFC has more than tripled since it was on the verge of extinction.
The UFC has exploded in popularity over the years. In 2001, the UFC was on the verge of extinction; now it is worth an estimated $9–10 billion.
Despite the pandemic, UFC President Dana White spoke with TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter about the UFC’s growth in 2020.
“This is the most successful year we’ve ever had.” That’s insane to say. Except for the live gate, we broke just about every record we had. To pull all of this off, it was a very difficult year for us. “It was without a doubt the most difficult year of my professional life,” White remarked.
The UFC’s expansion
Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta purchased the UFC for $2 million in 2001. They were able to turn the sport around with the support of White. Zuffa LLC sold the UFC to WME-IMG for $4 billion in 2016. In 2018, the UFC struck a television deal with ESPN. As part of the deal, ESPN agreed to broadcast 30 events each year for the next five years.
Since these agreements, the company has had a string of blockbuster fights that have brought in millions of dollars in pay-per-view revenue.
UFC 257 sold 1.5 million pay-per-view tickets in 2021. According to White’s interview with TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter, the promotion has seen an increase in viewing on ESPN and via social media.
“This year, our social media growth was huge,” he remarked. “On YouTube, we surpassed 10 million subscribers, granting us Diamond Play status, which places us second only to the NBA among sports organizations globally.”
In the United States, our growth increased by 38.17 percent, putting us second only to the NBA. The Joaquin Buckley [viral knockout] has the second highest Instagram views of any other US-based sport, trailing only the NBA. It shattered all sorts of records. “
Given the current state of affairs, the UFC is on track to become the most successful MMA promotion company in the world.