When WME-IMG dropped $4 billion to buy the UFC, the Hollywood talent agency had a plan—spin off a small ownership stake to the huge stars it represents and have them use their platforms to promote the company. The goal? To make the UFC the most successful three-lettered sports league in the country and completely leave behind the hardscrabble days of toiling in obscurity.
Now, WME has put that plan into action and a handful of the new owners were announced in the Wall Street Journal Thursday. Among the 23 new owners are Ben Affleck, Tom Brady, Mark Wahlberg, Sylvester Stallone, Serena Williams, Cam Newton and LL Cool J. These are big-time stars who can use their big-time followings to make UFC even more big-time than it already is.
Conan O'Brien, another one of the new owners, wasted no time pimping his investment, as you can see in the video above. On Thursday night’s show he announced his ownership stake (“I think I have $40 worth.”) and then made some jokes about the UFC, something we can expect a lot more of now that he’s got a financial stake in the promotion's success.
The best part of Conan’s bit was the suggestion that he would soon make his debut in the Octogon. As a 53-year-old comedian, you might think Bellator would be a better home for Conan, but no, he’s starting at the top with a fight against Conor McGregor.
After that, he’ll participate in the UFC’s first mix gendered fight in what we assume will be Ronda Rousey's first fight in more than a year.
And then, he’ll participate in another mix gendered fight with one of his fellow UFC owners.
And then he’ll die.