Earlier this week Jeremy Botter reported that the UFC had closed a deal to be sold for $4.2 million to an entity consisting of WME-IMG, The Dalian Wanda Group, The Kraft Group, and Tencent Holdings. The UFC was quick to respond saying that no sale had been made in an internal memo to employees.
The original report says that the deal was finalized on a day in Hollywood but all of the stakeholders were spread out across the globe during that day, meaning it was impossible for any meeting to even take place.
TMZ also says that a deal won’t be made this week and that there’s a chance it may never happen. While negotiations are taking place “a deal isn’t even close.”
Jeremy Botter, who previously had a run-in with less than reliable journalistic efforts dealing with an alleged sexual assault case involving BJ Penn, has been contacted by the UFC with a letter saying that his reporting has damaged the organization. Botter has been wrong before whether it’s reporting that fights are going to happen that never come to fruition and also has alleged that certain fighters are on performance enhancing drugs.
This sounds like a good use of PR by the UFC. In all likelihood an anonymous source sent to TMZ might have been someone at the UFC whose goal was to disseminate information to cool down all the “sale finalized” stories.
The possible sale of the UFC has been one of the hottest stories in the MMA and sports business world for the last week. We’ll see if anything actually comes from it.