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Will UFC-WWE deal impact MMA fighting giant’s Vegas roots?

With the announced partnering of two mega brands in the UFC and WWE, not much is expected to change in how the entities operate.

The $21.4 billion deal to bring the premier MMA and sports and entertainment groups together was announced Monday by UFC’s parent company Endeavor Group Holdings. Endeavor will take over a 51 percent stake in the WWE once the deal is finalized.

Following the blockbuster merger, it will be business as usual for both companies and their respective operations.

UFC will continue to operate out of its Las Vegas headquarters, which is situated next door to its Apex building off the 215 Beltway in the southwest valley, as outlined in the 8-K filing tied to the deal.

The UFC was founded in Las Vegas in 1993 and has called Sin City home ever since. The fighting promotion company also holds several fight cards of all sizes in Las Vegas each year, including upcoming UFC Fight Nights on April 22 and 29 at UFC Apex and UFC 290 planned for July 8 at T-Mobile Arena.

UFC is also planning to host its annual UFC International Fight Week in July at the Las Vegas Convention Center and multiple smaller fight cards at its Apex facility in the coming months.

While the WWE plans to keep operations in Stamford, Connecticut, where the company will move into an under-construction headquarters in the same city as early as this year.

The WWE has a long history with Las Vegas, having hosted events in Southern Nevada for years. One of the WWE’s marquee events, SummerSlam, was held at AllegiantStadium in 2021, with 40,000 fans in attendance, according to the Las Vegas Stadium Authority.

The most recent WWE event in Las Vegas was last month’s SmackDown event at the MGM Grand Garden. Las Vegas is also a potential site for the WWE’s signature event, Wrestlemania, in the coming years at Allegiant Stadium.

The new group formed by the UFC-WWE deal, tentatively known as NewPubCo, will initially be based out of New York. The brand’s official name will be known at a later date.

Included in the deal is that the UFC and WWE are set to become a publicly traded sports entertainment company once the deal is finalized, which is expected to occur by the end of the year.

Endeavor CEO Ariel Emanuel, WWE Executive Chairman Vince McMahon and Mark Shapiro, chief operating officer of Endeavor, will lead the new company. Emanuel will also continue his role as CEO of Endeavor.

Additionally, Dana White will continue his role as president of the UFC.

“This company (Endeavor) has been on fire for the last seven years and now that we will be adding the WWE to the portfolio, I am excited to take this to another level,” UFC President Dana White said in a statement. “Vince is a savage in the wrestling space. Ari is a beast at what he does, and then add what we at the UFC bring to the table and there is no limit to what this company can accomplish in the next few years.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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