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Sunday, June 16, 2019

MMA

Top bid for UFC reportedly near $4.19 billion, likely to be accepted

UFC

Talk of a UFC sale continues to persist, with a new report claiming that the organization is set to become the most valuable sports franchise in the world.

According to Jeremy Botter of FloSports, the highest bid for UFC came in at $4.19 billion, higher than the asking price. Dana White would reportedly remain in his role and the operation would continue largely as it has, with further growth, likely into China.

White denied the report, though that doesn’t necessarily indicate anything. No formal announcement is likely until after UFC 200 at the earliest.

These rumors are largely consistent with the other stories that have been floating around in recent days, and where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. It would be one heck of a profit for the Fertittas, who purchased the company for just $2 million 15 years ago.

Robert Kraft involved in bid to buy UFC

Robert Kraft

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is said to be among the groups involved in the bidding for ownership of the UFC.

The UFC is available for sale, with bids said to be in the $4 billion range. ESPN reports that WME-IMG and Dalian Wanda Group, as well as China Media Capital, are competing to purchase the MMA company.

The interesting part is that WME’s bid is being financed by multiple investors, including apparently The Kraft Group.

The Kraft Group is a large, private company that owns the Patriots, the New England Revolution, Gillette Stadium, and is an investor in many other smaller companies. A small ownership stake in the UFC would just be a minor part of their major portfolio.

The UFC was purchased by the Fertitta brothers in 2001 for $2 million. They have an 80 percent ownership stake in the company and are looking to cash out, with eyes on potentially buying an NFL team.

UFC sale rumors heat up again

UFCRumors of a sale involving the UFC have heated up again.

On Tuesday, MMA Fighter’s Ariel Helwani reported that talks of a sale are progressing, though not completed.

MMA insider Front Row Brian added more details and even said a sale might be done:

Word emerged a little over a month ago that the UFC owners were shopping the fight promotion to potential buyers. Figures put the sale at between $3.5-4 billion.

Front Row Brian says UFC president Dana White would remain with the company, while the Fertitta brothers would be cashing out. They bought the company for $2 million in 2001.

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Joe Rogan: UFC warned Ariel Helwani not to report Brock Lesnar news

Ariel Helwani MMA

The UFC apparently had such an extreme reaction to Ariel Helwani breaking the Brock Lesnar story on Saturday because they had already warned him against scooping them.

UFC commentator Joe Rogan who, keep in mind is EMPLOYED by the UFC, shared some insight on Tuesday of what led to the UFC’s reaction to the Lesnar story, which resulted in them banning Helwani and his crew (a move that was later reversed).

As we have heard, the UFC believed Ariel had a mole and wanted to find out who it was. They were upset he had broken news of the Conor McGregor-Nate Diaz rematch earlier on Saturday and talked to him about it.

“From what I understand, the conversation with him was ‘don’t do this, because only a handful of people know this information. So we’re going to fire a bunch of people, and you’re going to ruin peoples’ lives.’ This is what I was told was a conversation they had with him. After that conversation, he leaked the Brock Lesnar stuff,” Rogan said on his show.

Rogan also says that they know the information did not come from Brock’s side, leading them to conclude the leaks came from within their organization.

Rogan also thinks Helwani is wrong to scoop the UFC if the news is coming out anyway because he’s stealing their spotlight.

It’s truly unbelievable how wrong Rogan is about this, but his position is understandable because he is one of the most prominent faces of the UFC and paid by the organization. Helwani has no obligation to the UFC. OF COURSE he is trying to steal the spotlight; he’s trying to build his name and gain notoriety through reporting.

And why does it matter to report information before others? The world is all about information and learning things first. There are limitless examples of how having information first is beneficial to consumers and fans. Not only is it cool to brag to friends that you know things they don’t, but there are practical gains, such as buying tickets or hotel rooms before the masses catch on and prices go up. The argument that there is no reason for him to scoop news that is already coming out is flatly incorrect and shows no understanding of what a reporter does.

The UFC just wants to control all aspects of their business and they do not know how to operate when they lose control. They try to bully and intimidate others, as evidenced by their talk with Helwani in which they warned him against reporting news. That’s also evidenced by them saying they would fire employees. The UFC management just runs in unfair ways and this is a classic example of it.

Their “side” of the story isn’t much of a side.

UPDATE: Helwani told “Tiki and Tierney Show” on CBS Sports Radio that the story from Rogan is false.

“That is 1,000 percent inaccurate. No one at the UFC ever told me that jobs would be lost if I reported news. That’s kind of a ludicrous thing to say to anyone. And if I’m being honest, I’m a little disappointed that he put that out there without even talking to me. He got that from Dana White. He’s a close friend of Dana White’s, and Dana and some other people at the UFC believe there’s a mole at the company feeding me information. That is also 1,000 percent inaccurate. There is no mole. There is no singular person that I planted within the company to give me news. Also a ludicrous idea”

Also see:
Dana White told banned reporter Ariel Helwani ‘you’re too negative’

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Kimbo Slice was recently told he needed a heart transplant

Kimbo Slice

A few days prior to his tragic death on Monday night, Kimbo Slice was admitted to a hospital with multiple problems, and he was told he needed a heart transplant.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Tuesday evening that Kimbo, real name Kevin Ferguson, was taken to a hospital in South Florida last Friday with abdominal pain, shortness of breath and nausea. He was found to have a liver mass and heart failure, and he was placed on a ventilator in intensive care. Kimbo Slice was told that he would need a heart transplant.

Slice died on Monday after being taken to the hospital. Doctors actually were preparing to transfer him to Cleveland, where he would be able to wait for a heart transplant.

Slice was 42 and leaves behind a wife and six children. He was 7-0 in his professional boxing career and 5-2 in his pro MMA career. He beat Dada 5000 at Bellator 149 in Houston in February, though he later tested positive for steroids, leading the fight to be ruled a no contest.

Once a bouncer and bodyguard, Kimbo became famous after his backyard brawls went viral on YouTube. We examined his unique legacy in this piece.

Ariel Helwani alludes to alleged assault by UFC security

Ariel Helwani MMA

Ariel Helwani poured out his heart and shared a lot of personal information during Monday’s edition of “The MMA Hour” — his weekly show. At one point he even referenced an event that got “physical” in 2014.

Though Helwani declined to go into specifics about the incident, MMA insider Front Row Brian elaborated on Twitter. He said the allusion by Helwani was to an actual assault on the reporter by a UFC security guard who allegedly was one of Dana White’s bodyguards.

Here’s what Helwani said about the matter:

“Around that time frame, something else happened. That’s the one thing I’m going to skip over for now. That’s the one thing I don’t want to get into. I just don’t feel comfortable. I will say this though — it got physical. And that was hard,” said Helwani, vaguely alluding to some sort of incident.

Here’s what Front Row Brian says happened.

Yes, that is a pretty serious accusation. Reporters getting assaulted by security for asking questions? There has to be something more to this story.

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Kimbo Slice – greatest YouTube street fights that made him a viral star

Kimbo Slice became a famous name in sports in one of the most unpredictable, yet totally fitting ways for the 21st century: He was one of the original viral YouTube stars.

A former high school football player who played at Miami and even tried out with the Dolphins, Kimbo Slice, real name Kevin Ferguson, became a bouncer at a strip club and later a bodyguard in South Florida. While working for the adult entertainment company “Reality Kings,” he started doing backyard brawls in 2003. But it wasn’t until YouTube was invented in Feb. 2005 that Kimbo truly blew up. His fights were uploaded to YouTube and helped make him famous.

Kimbo went from backyard brawls in 2003 to fighting for a legit promotion company (EliteXC) in 2007, and on national TV on CBS in 2008.

For those unfamiliar with his path to fame, or for those who want to relive his greatness, check out a bunch of his fights on YouTube.