WWE And UFC Are Being Combined And The Result Is Terrifying

Vince McMahon will oversee a new company, combining WWE and UFC together in a billion-dollar deal.

By Jonathan Klotz | Updated

Former WWE and UFC Champion Brock Lesnar

It’s the announcement that wrestling fans never thought would come: Vince McMahon has sold the WWE. Details from a report by CNBC revealed that McMahon is selling to Ari Emanuel’s Endeavor, the parent company for UFC. The Frankenstein result will merge WWE and UFC, overseen by McMahon as the Executive Chairman of the Board for the new joint company, as the scandal-plagued CEO finds himself answering to someone else for the first time since he purchased the WWWF in 1982.

As a publicly traded company, the WWE will cease to exist, replaced by the new joint venture with existing shareholders granted a 49 percent stake, while Endeavor controls the remaining 51 percent. The new, currently unnamed company will be led by a board of six Endeavor appointees and five WWE appointees. Existing presidents, Nick Khan for WWE and Dana White for UFC will remain in their positions.

The upcoming merger will forever reshape the sports entertainment/combat sports landscape, bringing together the two largest companies in their respective fields (sorry, AEW and Bellator). WWE is coming off of their most successful Wrestlemania ever, setting new records for attendance (161,892 for both nights combined), merchandise sales (20 percent over the previous record from last year), and sponsorship deals (over $20 million).

While WWE is hotter than ever before, partially due to McMahons stepping away from creative and letting his son-in-law, Paul “Triple H” Levesque assume the reins, UFC has continued growth year over year in its own right.

Combined, WWE and UFC earned revenue of over $2.4 billion last year, continuing a growth rate of 10 percent every year from 2019. In a world of declining television ratings, each product has proved to draw millions of eyeballs on a weekly basis, resulting in mammoth streaming deals with NBC and ESPN, respectively. If each company was individually setting records, what will happen now that they are each under the same umbrella?

Vince McMahon
WWE and UFC CEO Vince McMahon

No one that knows is speaking publicly at the moment, but more details are expected over the rest of the week, starting with the post-Wrestlemania Monday Night RAW. Currently, the likeliest possibility is an increase in cross-overs between the two brands. While WWE currently has a number of former UFC fighters on the roster, expect more jumps to take place when everyone answers to the same boss.

Two of the biggest names on the WWE roster today, Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey, are former UFC champions. Shayna Baszler and Matt Riddle also crossed over from UFC when their time in the Octagon came to a close. The two have another competitor in common, CM Punk, though his professional status is currently up in the air.

When two gigantic companies that had a monopoly on their respective corners of sports entertainment and MMA for years come together, the result is going to forever change the world of sports. The companies that gave us John Cena, Dwayne Johnson, Dave Bautista, Randy Couture, Joe Rogan, Rampage Jackson, and Gina Carano functioning under the same leadership will either bring in a new athletic golden age or continue lowballing competitors and ruthlessly squash their competition.

No matter what happens next, Vince McMahon went from being forced out of the company that his family has controlled for nearly a century to now receiving a golden parachute and control over the biggest names in MMA. WWE and UFC have always had a lot of crossover in terms of fans, but that will pale in comparison to what comes next, for better or worse.