It has been reported that the UFC has been sold to a combination of investors made up of The Dalian Wanda Group, WME-IMG, The Kraft Group, and Tencent Holdings.
If the rumors are true the sale would be for 100% of the company with the Fertitta brothers exiting participation in the company but Dana White staying on as President. Dave Sholler, VP of Public Relations at the UFC, said the UFC sent an internal memo to employees that a sale had not been made.
From the article the internal memo reads:
“A report today by FloCombat.com indicating that the company has been sold is false,” the email read. “This follows other false speculation in the press recently.
“Such misrepresentation of facts in the media negatively impacts our business, staff members and athletes. We have instructed our attorneys to investigate and take all appropriate legal actions against the parties publishing and contributing to these false stories.
“With International Fight Week and the historic UFC 200 rapidly approaching, we look forward to once again delivering a series of events that our fans won’t soon forget. We appreciate your hard work, diligence and commitment, and thank you for your focus as we continue to take the sport to new heights.”
Reading this it’s more important to look at what isn’t said. It isn’t said that the UFC isn’t up for sale nor does it say that negotiations aren’t going on. The report says that it has not been sold, leaving the door open to sell in the future.
In terms of legal mattersa reporter could be exposed to defamation, specifically libel, given that the possible damages resulted from a publishing. However, it is unlikely that anything will come of this.