MMA

UFC News: WME-IMG takeover to turn company into ‘very different’ organization by January; More ‘big names’ expected to leave

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Khabib Nurmagomedov
Khabib Nurmagomedov

The last time MMA fans heard from WME-IMG, 23 celebrity actors and sports stars were included in a list of investors who had cumulatively acquired the rights to the UFC for four billion dollars.

Now, we are hearing from them once again, but this time, because of the departure of some of the fight promotion company’s most notable names inside and outside of the Octagon.

In actuality, the fight promotion company has already lost some its biggest names as soon as the acquisition was announced, most notably in the resignation of its former chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta. In the recent months that followed, two more executives – matchmaker Joe Silva and PR guy Dave Sholler- announced their departure signaling that major changes may be underway in the UFC.

Dave Meltzer of MMA Fighting seems to think, that this may even just be the beginning of what could be many fallouts in the biggest MMA promotion company in the world.

“Joe Silva and Dave Sholler are the big names to go so far, but they won’t be the last,” Meltzer shared during the October 13 episode of Wrestling Observer Radio. “WME-IMG want to bring in their own people. I’ve been told that by January it will be a very, very different company. A lot of people behind the scenes are worried about their future or looking elsewhere.”

But it has not just been the people behind the scenes who have been seemingly unhappy with the UFC.

Fighters also unhappy with UFC?

Recently, interim featherweight champion Jose Aldo has also been very vocal about his disdain for UFC president Dana White and the rest of the company, after feeling de-prioritized compared to “money makers” like Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey.

UFC legend Anderson Silva has also expressed his disappointment in the UFC’s “cold shoulder” treatment after he had willingly stepped in for Jones Jones at UFC 200 against Daniel Cormier.

So while all things are (relatively) quiet in the UFC office, for now, expect that there will be loud glaring changes from 2017.

Photo Courtesy: Ron Hall/ Flickr

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