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Published: 14:47 | 11/7/16

UFC sold for $4billion

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been sold to talent and sports agency WME-IMG in a deal reported to be in the region of $4billion.

Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta bought the UFC for $2million in 2001 but the business has grown in popularity with more than 40 live events each year and is the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world, broadcast in over 156 countries and territories.

While the Fertitta brothers will retain a minority stake in the business, Lorenzo Fertitta will step down from his position as chairman, although Dana White will continue in his role as president of the UFC.

"We've been fortunate over the years to represent UFC and a number of its remarkable athletes," WME-IMG co-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell said in a statement.

"It's been exciting to watch the organization's incredible growth over the last decade under the leadership of the Fertitta brothers, Dana White and their dedicated team.

"We're now committed to pursuing new opportunities for UFC and its talented athletes to ensure the sport's continued growth and success on a global scale."

Commenting on the sale, Lorenzo Fertitta said: "We're confident that the new ownership team of WME-IMG, with whom we've built a strong relationship over the last several years, is committed to accelerating UFC's global growth.

"Most importantly, our new owners share the same vision and passion for this organization and its athletes."

Conor McGregor, Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey have contributed to UFC's growth in recent years

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