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Sunday, March 24, 2019

MMA

UFC owners reportedly looking to sell company

UFCThe owners of the UFC are looking to cash out on their extremely successful investment, according to a report.

ESPN says the UFC’s owners are in advanced talks about selling the UFC at a valuation of between $3.5-$4 billion. Two Chinese groups, including China Media Capital and Dalian Wanda Group, are involved in the bidding, with Dalian Wanda said to be in the lead. American companies WME/IMG and The Blackstone Group are also in the bidding.

The motivation for selling the UFC and whether or not they will be selling 100 percent of the company are not known.

The Fertitta Brothers, Lorenzo and Frank, bought the UFC in 2001 for $2 million. Also the owners of the Station Casinos in Las Vegas, the Fertittas created Zuffa LLC as the company in charge of the UFC and had business partner Dana White run the company.

Thanks in part to some recognizable stars like Chuck Lidell, Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz, the UFC grew in popularity in the years after the Fertitta’s purchase. Their “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show on Spike also helped tremendously with the overall growth and recognition of the league, and it helped the UFC develop a television presence. The UFC partnered with FOX in 2011, which gave it a regular national TV presence.

In addition to its entire fight library and properties, the UFC along the way has purchased competing promotions Pride, WEC and Strikeforce, allowing them the rights and access to a much greater stable of fighters.

The UFC reportedly grossed around $600 million last year, with profits in the $200-$250 million range. They are set for a new TV deal in 2019.

Another interesting note is that the Fertittas announced Tuesday the purchase of the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas for $312.5 million.

Report: Conor McGregor beefs up security after death threats

Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor considers himself to be the toughest fighter in UFC history, but that doesn’t mean he is comfortable walking around his home country without some extra muscle.

The Irish Sun reports that McGregor has beefed up his security team and had two rather large body guards accompanying him when he attended the VIP Style Awards in Dublin last Friday. McGregor admitted that he hired extra security because he is being targeted by stalkers.

“Conor was really relaxed and in great humor but the bodyguards didn’t let him out of their sight for even a minute,” a source told the Sun. “Anyone who wanted a picture or a quick word with Conor had to go through the minders. He told people their names were Rocky and Drago and that he’d hired them because of death threats.”

This is nothing new for McGregor, who was in contact with the FBI earlier this year after a Twitter troll shared a photo of someone holding an AK-47 and warned the UFC featherweight champion to watch himself.

McGregor is a dedicated entertainer, as evidenced by some of the tweets he has sent recently just to create a buzz. He’s also one of the most polarizing figures in sports at the moment, so hiring extra security probably isn’t the worst idea.

Floyd Mayweather confirms Conor McGregor fight is possibility

Floyd Mayweather smile

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is not ruling out the possibility of a fight against Conor McGregor.

Prior to Saturday night’s fight between Canelo Alvarez and Amir Khan, Mayweather told FightHype.com that the unprecedented fight between a boxing champion and UFC champion is something that could actually happen.

“It’s possible. That was a name that was shot at me,” he said of McGregor. “The rumors that y’all are hearing are the rumors that I started. It may not be a rumor. Keep your fingers crossed. It may be a boxer vs. an MMA fighter. You never know.”

Of course, Mayweather would need to be guaranteed a ton of money to come out of retirement and take the fight. He said he would have to make at least $100 million. McGregor would make far less if the bout ever did happen.

In this particular instance, the truth is impossible to uncover. Mayweather and McGregor are both master promoters, and they love the attention they’re getting even if they know the fight will never happen. McGregor did his part to fuel the speculation when he sent this tweet on Sunday morning.

In addition to Floyd himself, Mayweather’s father also recently said that a Mayweather-McGregor fight is a possibility. Dana White seems to be the only guy who insists we can forget about it.

H/T Black Sports Online

Conor McGregor fuels speculation about fight with Floyd Mayweather

Conor McGregor

If Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor don’t end up fighting in an unprecedented meeting of superstars from different sports, it won’t be due to a lack of willingness from the Irishman.

On Sunday morning, McGregor fueled the rumors about a fight between him and Mayweather by sharing a phony fight promotion poster on social media.

Let’s face it — McGregor will tweet just about anything to create a buzz. He recently sent a tweet about UFC 200 that got his fans excited but was a complete lie. This is probably no different, at least for now.

However, the rumors of a Mayweather-McGregor fight may not be as far-fetched as initially believed. UFC boss Dana White insists it isn’t going to happen, but you might want to check out what Mayweather’s father said about it on Friday.

Police arrest Dennis Wright for hit-and-run that killed Jordan Parsons

Dennis Wright

Delray Beach Police have made an arrest in the hit-and-run case that claimed the life of MMA fighter Jordan Parsons.

Delray Beach Police posted on Facebook that they arrested 28-year-old Dennis Wright, a Boca Raton man, for multiple crimes. He is accused of being the driving of a silver 2013 Range Rover Sport that was the car in question that hit Parsons, who was a pedestrian early Sunday morning.

Police say one witness believes the car may have been traveling at speeds of between 100-120 mph. Wright was also said to have been at a bar with friends earlier in the evening. Not only did the Range Rover not stop after hitting Parsons, but a group of friends traveling in a Mercedes behind the car also did not stop after Parsons was hit.

Wright was driving with a suspended license. His license has been suspended six times. He has a lengthy criminal history including arrests for DUI, disorderly intoxication, marijuana possession and assault on an officer or firefighter, among other charges, per the police.

Not only is he facing charges for Parsons’ death, but he also is accused of tampering with evidence. Wright apparently tried to take his car to a body shop, but the owner refused to do the work. He then rented a bay at a storage facility in an attempt to hide the car.

Police recovered the car with the mirror missing:

A mirror was recovered at the scene of the initial collision.

The vehicle belonged to Wright’s mother. He arrived at the police station Saturday with an attorney.

Parsons, 25, was scheduled to fight at Bellator 154 next weekend. He was 11-2 in his professional MMA career. He initially had his leg amputated following the collision, and his family made the decision to take him off life support on Wednesday.

Floyd Mayweather Sr confirms talks of fight with Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor

Maybe the rumors of a fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor aren’t quite as far-fetched as initially believed.

British outlet The Sun reported on Friday that Mayweather and McGregor were going to fight against each other in a boxing match this summer. UFC boss Dana White dismissed the report as false and said it was just a tabloid story. But Floyd’s father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., said in an interview Friday that his son has talked about fighting an MMA fighter who was later mentioned as McGregor.

“He had told me the other day that he’s going to take another fight,” Mayweather Sr. said about Floyd Jr. “He told me it’s (against) some kind of MMA fighter.”

Mayweather Sr. didn’t seem to know all the details surrounding the potential fight, saying he had heard it would be in the boxing discipline rather than MMA. Though he thinks his son needs to get back in the habit of training more, he does think such a fight will happen soon.

“Pretty sure it’s gonna come around real soon. Won’t be that long.”

The potential fight between Mayweather and McGregor reportedly was going to pay Floyd £100 million and McGregor £7 million.

McGregor has been in a dispute with the UFC allegedly over the promotion for his rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 200. The UFC pulled McGregor from the fight, leaving the Irishman to talk about retiring. One report even said that McGregor was in a pay dispute with the UFC.

Mayweather has not fought since beating Andre Berto in September in what he said was his final fight. That fight completed Floyd’s six-fight contract with CBS/Showtime, meaning another bout would require a new deal. There have also been recent signs such as these that Mayweather would be fighting again.

Dana White: Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor rumor ‘not true’

Floyd Mayweather smiling

Dana White threw a bucket of cold water on the rumor that Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor will be fighting each other in a boxing match this summer.

“It’s not true; it’s just a tabloid story,” White said to Yahoo’s Kevin Iole. “And as far as I knew, Floyd is retired and he’s been on a world-wide vacation and hasn’t even been thinking of fighting.”

White was responding to a story published by British tabloid The Sun on Friday. The Sun reported that Mayweather and McGregor were set to fight this summer in boxing. They also included payment terms, with Floyd making around £100 million and McGregor hauling in £7 million.

News of such a fight came out of nowhere. McGregor has seen a meteoric rise in popularity and success in the UFC, as he won the featherweight championship, although he did surprisingly lose to Nate Diaz in March. Then he had a dispute with the UFC over how he would promote a fight at UFC 200.

McGregor is still under contract with the UFC. With him recently preparing for an MMA fight, it seems unreasonable to expect him to fight in boxing so soon. And even if he were transitioning to boxing, why would anyone expect him to immediately start with arguably the best fight ever? Oh, and he also supposedly would have to drop 25 pounds for the fight.

McGregor’s coach even poked fun at the whole thing:

Another aspect of this that makes the report seem sketchy is that Mayweather has been “retired” since September. If he were going to fight again, wouldn’t he need to start training? How would he be ready for a summer bout as The Sun says? There is proof that he has interest in a comeback, but why would he return so soon?

The whole report does not seem very consistent, but that’s not a huge surprise as The Sun isn’t exactly the most reliable publication.