After news broke this weekend, it became official on Monday that Vince McMahon’s WWE has agreed to merge with UFC to form a new publicly traded company that will be controlled by Endeavor Group.
The arrangement means that Endeavor will own a 51% stake in the new company while WWE shareholders will have the remaining 49%. That also means that McMahon, WWE’s largest shareholder, will still have some juice in the new company, albeit no longer as its owner. McMahon does remain on as executive chairman, though Ari Emanuel will be chief executive of both Endeavor and the new company.
One of the most obvious questions to come out of the arrangement is whether or not we’ll start to see WWE performers and UFC MMA fighters merge in some way or be part of joint programming. WWE CEO Nick Khan said on Monday that while there will be some crossover, the two promotions will continue to run separately.
“Both businesses are going to be run separately,” Khan told OutKick’s Bobby Burack. “Dana White will, of course, continue to run the UFC.”
He noted that fans of both promotions have already benefitted from some athletes taking part in each, and that is likely to continue where it makes sense.
“You saw Brock Lesnar go from WWE to UFC, where he become its heavyweight champion, then come back to WWE. You saw Ronda Rousey and her amazing run with the UFC come over to WWE. Daniel Cormier was a special guest referee for us in our October premium live event this past year,” Khan said. “Opportunities like that will continue.”
“Characters like The Undertaker and Andre the Giant. I’m not sure that every comic book fan was familiar with Black Panther. But certainly, every movie fan is now,” Khan said.”We want that for our characters. So, if we do it with the right partners, and in the right spirit, we think that we have something that is largely untapped.”