Dave Meltzer Opines On Biggest TKO Concern, Following WWE-UFC Merger: Debt

In the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, veteran wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer wrote that the biggest concern moving forward following the WWE-UFC merger is that TKO Group Holdings has a debt of $3.2 billion because of the money Endeavor borrowed to acquire UFC in 2016.


Meltzer noted that $2.7 billion of the UFC debt is due in three years' time. However, he mentioned that the arrangement "could and likely would be" refinanced. He pointed out that refinancing the debt would come at a cost because UFC had taken out a variable rate loan. Meltzer said the interest rates on the UFC debt increased to $37.3 million in 2022 from the previous year. He added that financial services company Moody's is thinking about raising the organization's rating, even with the increased debt, because of the WWE-UFC merger's strength. Forbes has described the $2.7 billion debt as a "ticking time bomb."

It was announced on April 3 that WWE and UFC would be merging under the Endeavor umbrella to form a new organization. At the time, TKO Executive Chairman Vince McMahon said that the new company would become "a $21+ billion live sports and entertainment powerhouse." The WWE-UFC merger closed on September 12, with Endeavor announcing the creation of TKO Group Holdings, which is now listed on the New York Stock Exchange. It's said that TKO and Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel is now looking to cut $50 million to $100 million in WWE costs.