In the middle of one of the biggest pay-per-view years in company history, it appears as if the owners of the Ultimate Fighting Championship may be selling the company.
According to an ESPN report this evening, there are at least four bidders that have submitted offers to purchase the company. Those bidders are WME/IMG, The Blackstone Group, China Media Capital and Dalian Wanda Group. The likely winning bid will end up somewhere between $3.5 billion and $4 billion, says ESPN.
UFC VP of public relations Dave Sholler wouldn't comment on the matter, saying the UFC doesn't discuss speculation.
The Fertitta brothers own over 80 percent of the company, with Flash Entertainment owning 10 percent and UFC President Dana White as another minority owner. The Fertitta's company Zuffa LLC purchased the UFC in 2001 for just $2 million. The company had financial struggles for several years before turning a corner on it's way to being a pay-per-view juggernaut.
The ESPN report says that Chinese-based Dalian Wanda Group is the leader to buy the UFC. The company's chairman happens to be Wang Jianlin, with a net worth estimated between $28 billion and $35 billion.
We'll provide you with more details as they arrive.