The Ultimate Fighting Championship, popularly known as the UFC, is arguably the biggest promotion in the sport of mixed martial arts. Over the years, the promotion has seen the rise of many rival promotions. While some of these promotions closed, others ended up being bought out by the MMA organization itself.
A major promotion that ended up in the latter category was Strikeforce. Led by CEO Scott Cooker, Strikeforce achieved great popularity and was home to talented fighters such as Daniel Cormier, Tyron Woodley and Luke Rockhold to name a few.
Strikeforce’s talent mixed with great fights helped the promotion become a major competitor to the UFC. However, on March 12, 2011, things changed when Zuffa, a former parent company, announced it was buying Strikeforce for $40 million.
Even after its purchase, Strikeforce continued to operate as a promotion. However, significant changes such as the use of elbows and stopping the promotion of undercard amateur fights were implemented during Zuffa’s reign.
The promotion ran successfully for two more years, after which fans saw the final show, Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine take place in 2013. After this event, Zuufa dissolved some fighters’ contracts while others joined the UFC.
Many fighters who participated in Strikeforce went on to successful careers in the new promotion. While Luke Rockhold won the UFC middleweight championship, Daniel Cormier became a two-division champion, winning both the light heavyweight and heavyweight championships.
Who is UFC’s parent company?
Considered the fastest growing major sports promotion in the world, UFC’s parent company is Endeavour. While the promotion was bought by Zuffa in 2001, the deal with Endeavor happened in 2016.
In July 2016, the Endeavor Group purchased a majority stake from the promotion’s former parent company, Zuffa. While things went smoothly, the US holding group further increased its stake by buying the remaining shares in 2021 and acquiring 100% ownership.
During the initial purchase, many wondered what Dana White’s role in the company would be. However, he continued as the promotion’s president and even shared his thoughts on the Endeavor Group acquiring 100% of the shares of the promotion. White said:
“It was very, very hard for me, you know. I don’t know about Fertittas. I think, you know, I think they really miss it now. But, yeah, it was very, very hard for me. but i ended up…you know, everything worked out really well for me so…i stayed and i’m still one of the owners and…yeah so it’s not a bad deal. “
Check out Dana White’s comments in the video below:
In 2021, the UFC became a public company when Endeavor Group Holdings launched an initial public offering. Dana White, along with other Endeavor executives, appeared on the New York Stock Exchange, where Endeavor stock began trading at $24 per share.