WWE merges with UFC to create $TKO
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has agreed to merge with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to form a new company controlled by Endeavor Group.
WWE and UFC will be under the same umbrella. Vince McMahon’s WWE will merge with the UFC to form $TKO, a new combat sports and entertainment enormous franchise controlled by Endeavor Group, the companies announced Monday morning.
The UFC owner Endeavor will own a 51% stake in the new company, while WWE shareholders will have the remaining 49%, according to the terms of the deal. The agreement values WWE at $9.3 billion, while Endeavor is valued at $12.1 billion.
Ari Emanuel will act as chief executive of both Endeavor and $TKO, while WWE majority owner and Executive Chairman Vince McMahon will assume the executive chairman role. Dana White will remain as president of the UFC, and WWE CEO Nick Khan will stay on as president of the wrestling business.
WWE and UFC, sharing the same culture
Although the WWE features scripted events where acting is a big part of the show and UFC showcases real mixed martial arts fighting, both organizations have come to a deal on what the new company will offer to the fans.
Both fighting worlds have already met in the past, as former UFC fighters Ronda Rousey, Ken Shamrock, and Brock Lesnar competed in the WWE, while the likes of CM Punk and Dave Bautista tried their luck in MMA, specifically in the UFC.
WWE generated $1.29 billion in revenue last year, while the UFC, guided by its president Dana White, helped Endeavour make $1.3 billion in revenue.