Crooke’s Cage: UFC and WWE to merge into Endeavor Group–what does that mean?


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The UFCE/WWE merger into Endeavor surprised many fans.

By Aidan Crooke, Staff Writer, Sports

There are three inevitabilities in life: death, taxes, and UFC President Dana White being involved in an insane business deal. The third inevitability came around April 5 in the form of UFC and WWE announcing a merger into the latter’s parent company, Endeavor. It was quite a surprise for fans of both MMA and pro wrestling.

A quick recap of WWE’s recent run of events in the boardroom: Vince McMahon, chairman and primary owner of the WWE retired in July of 2022 following an investigation into McMahon’s alleged harassment of employees and misconduct in the workplace. His daughter, Stephanie McMahon Levesque, and WWE CEO Nick Khan took executive control of the company as co-CEOs immediately after. Fast-forward to January and Vince is back at the helm of WWE following a unanimous vote from their board of directors. Levesque resigned, leaving Khan and McMahon in the driver’s seat of WWE.

With rumors that McMahon was aiming to sell WWE circling for months on end, the merging with Endeavor finally shut down the rumor mill. The deal currently values WWE at $9.3 billion and the UFC, which is currently owned by Endeavor, at $12.1 billion. This brings Endeavor’s total investments up to $21.4 billion, with McMahon now standing to recoup the value of his $1 million purchase of the then-World Wrestling Federation at least 9,000 times over.

So what does this mean? If you’re Dana White or any UFC fighter, it’s business as usual in the octagon and training camp—but not in fighter promotion. 

Take UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier for example. He’s made sporadic appearances for WWE over the past six months and even took on a special guest referee role at WWE’s Extreme Rules premium live event in Philadelphia, just two weeks before UFC 280. While this certainly doesn’t mean that WWE/UFC crossovers are going to happen regularly, the precedent is already set for UFC fighters to come to WWE after their time in the octagon is over. Maybe even Conor McGregor or Israel Adesanya can cross over into WWE with how dang good their promos are alongside their marketability.

Speaking of promos, the UFC roster could use WWE’s advice on how promos work for fighters. Some of the best moments of any fighter caught on camera have come from passion and pure heart, like Leon Edwards’ octagon interview after winning the welterweight belt. Some fighters, like Cory Sandhagen or Ciryl Gane, need help to develop a confident and hard-hitting style in order to really be capable of marketing fights and drawing pay-per-view buys, and there are plenty of options for that as well—Cody Rhodes and Roman Reigns come to mind.

Another thing the UFC might have considered before the merge is WWE’s level of production quality. The amount of content they are able to produce along with great storytelling can be a major asset for the UFC if (or when) WWE can help produce their pay-per-view programming. If you consider that WWE was able to bring in 2.26 million viewers for the post-WrestleMania episode of Monday Night Raw, UFC’s product could shatter what people thought possible for the top MMA promotion in the world. If the UFC is able to capitalize on WWE’s production talents while still keeping fan-favorite commentators such as the aforementioned Cormier, Joe Rogan, Michael Bisping, and Jon Anik, this investment from Ari Emmanuel could be a major boon for both sides of the deal.

The simple takeaway from this merger is that nothing major is going to change besides who owns the WWE, and we could approach what looks to be the sports equivalent of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies colliding.