ByJustin Golightly, writer at
Design wizard. MMA mathematician. Formerly of Middle Easy, Justin Golightly has been featured on Bleacher Report, Uproxx and TMZ.
Justin Golightly

Less than three months removed from its blockbuster $4 billion acquisition of the UFC, parent company WME-IMG has confirmed that nearly two dozen celebrities from its client roster have been offered equity in the mixed martial arts promotion.

Just last night, Conan O'Brien wasted no time promoting the UFC on his show, letting his audience know that he is just one of many WME-IMG clients included in the deal. O'Brien, who has formed a burgeoning bromance with Conor McGregor during multiple late-night TV appearances, offered the following.

"After the UFC deal was announced, WME — William Morris Endeavor — gave some of their clients an opportunity to purchase a small ownership stake in the UFC. I'm excited to announce that I was one of those clients. I said yes and so now I technically own a piece of the UFC."

How did the company reach out to those initial clients? They started with people who were already fans.

"They would always ask for tickets,” Ari Emanuel, co-CEO of WME-IMG, said to the Wall Street Journal.

The announcement is expected to strengthen MMA's push into the sports and cultural mainstream; the overwhelming celebrity endorsement will ultimately lead to further integration of branding and advertising.

"Expanding our ownership group to include this caliber of talent and entrepreneurs is a strong indicator of UFC's fast-growing global presence," UFC president Dana White said in an official press release. "Our new investors bring an incredible depth of knowledge and experience to help us continue to elevate this brand and capitalize on its entertainment and sports crossover appeal."

One thing is for sure, a lot of these celebrity owners will most likely be at the historic UFC 205 card on November 12th at Madison Square Garden.

Here is a list of the celebrities who now own part of the UFC:

  • Flea
  • Li Na
  • Guy Fieri
  • L.L. Cool J
  • Tyler Perry
  • Tom Brady
  • Trey Parker
  • Ben Affleck
  • Michael Bay
  • Rob Dyrdek
  • Robert Kraft
  • Calvin Harris
  • Adam Levine
  • Cam Newton
  • Conan O'Brien
  • Anthony Kiedis
  • Mark Wahlberg
  • Jimmy Kimmell
  • Maria Sharapova
  • Sylvester Stalone
  • Serena and Venus Williams
  • Abęl "The Weeknd" Tesfaye

Watch the Conan O'Brien announcement below.


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