Las Vegas Sun

November 12, 2018

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Wicked Whispers & Racy Rumors:

Is UFC up for sale again? Will Dana White stay or go?

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L.E. Baskow

UFC 197 fighter Rafael dos Anjos looks with disdain to Conor McGregor’s hand after facing off between UFC President Dana White on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016, at MGM Grand. The two joined a press conference featuring Holly Holm and Miesha Tate at MGM Grand.

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Bantamweight Cody Garbrandt connects with a hard left to send Thomas Almeida down and soon out during their UFC Fight Night match up at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on Sunday, May 29, 2016. Launch slideshow »

It’s another one of our Wicked Whispers & Racy Rumors that will be denied up and down until it comes to pass, but I am told on good authority that negotiations are nearly wrapping up for two wealthy Los Angeles investors to take over a major share of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Las Vegas brothers Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta are co-founders and principal owners of Zuffa, a private corporation that promotes mixed martial arts, TV programs and major arena fights. Zuffa originated here in 2000 with Dana White as its president and 10 percent stockholder.

According to L.A. sources, Dana will remain as the Fertittas sell their corporate share to the L.A. money-mogul bankers. In January, the two brothers filed regulatory paperwork for the sale of Fertitta Entertainment Management to Red Rock Resorts for $460 million.

The Fertittas have a 25-year management agreement for 21 Red Rock casinos, of which 19 are here in Las Vegas. Wall Street estimates that each brother is worth $1.6 billion, and they added $226 million to their collective total when the management firm was sold to their casino operations.

Their children received $160 million, and the remainder went to company executives. I am reliably told that the purchase of UFC from Red Rock could take place as early as this summer. This is a developing story, and we will continue to monitor it.

Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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