Hitting the links: The UFC piggy bank and Saudi Arabia’s MMA powerplay

Here are the UFC and MMA stories you might have missed during the week, including how the UFC's owners took loans out from the company.

By: Tim Bissell | 4 weeks ago

UFC and MMA news comes at you fast, so you’re bound to miss a couple of things throughout the week. Have no fear, Hitting The Links is here. Below you’ll find links to the big (and under-the-radar) stories we published this week. Maybe you’ll see something you missed.

UFC took out loans to pay owners hundreds of millions, says Rob Maysey

Matt O Toole, Lorenzo Fertitta, Dana White und Swizz Beats bei der Bekanntgabe einer langfristigen Patnerschaft zwischen Reebok und dem UFC in den Industria Studios. New York, 02.12.2014 Foto:xD.xVanxTinex xFuturexImage
IMAGO/Future Image

Antitrust attorney Rob Maysey speaks to John Nash about the latest developments of the class action suit against the UFC. (link)

Anton Tabuena: Nash’s report from years ago about this very thing was the first thing that popped in my head, when I saw Zuffa lawyers now trying to use profits to argue about damages. They gave out hundreds of millions to the owners, so profit isn’t going to be that “low.”

Jake Paul vs Nate Diaz PPV buys did well, adding to former UFC star’s career high purse

Jake Paul vs Nate Diaz did very well on PPV. (link)

Anton: I’m really glad Diaz got the bag, but it sucks that the biggest MMA stars have to get beat up in a different sport for it to happen. His UFC PPVs broke records, drew multiples more, and brought in so much more money, but his career earnings still don’t come close to the payday from a far smaller boxing event.

Details: Saudi Arabia enters MMA, purchases $100M PFL ownership stake

Saudi Arabia continues its investment in sports. This time purchasing a minority stake with MMA promotion PFL. (link)

Anton: I’m sure you heard about Saudi’s investment, but peep BE’s exclusive tidbit on PFL’s finances there. I wonder how fast they can burn through that 100M.

UFC offered Ronda Rousey ‘more money than God’ to return, says Schaub

Ronda Rousey doesn’t need to return to the UFC. (link)

Anton: Smart move to just keep making money without getting punched in the head. Just because Nunes is out, doesn’t mean Rousey can win the belt in 2024.

Back-up fighter announced for Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic

Jon Jones vs. Stipe Miocic is planned for MSG. If one of those men can’t make it to the cage they have a back-up in place. (link)

Anton: Jones would not accept that replacement fight lol

UFC 292 sold what? Let’s ask Henry Cejudo and Sean O’Malley

Sean O’Malley and Henry Cejudo are beefing over PPV buys at UFC 292. (link)

Anton: Honestly, even if it was in the middle of that, it still would’ve been a good number. O’Malley’s star is only going to rise after, now that he’s the champ.

Chris Weidman suffered second broken leg injury during UFC 292 loss

Chris Weidman provided a positive update following his UFC 292 loss. (link)

Anton: Might be time to listen to what his body is trying to tell him.

UFC fighter suggests he’s been given a title shot, promotion staying quiet

Despite their not being an official announcement, one fighter says he’s booked for a title shot. (link)

3 MMA stars win BJJ gold at 2023 IBJJF Masters World Championships

Former UFC champ Demetrious Johnson won gold at brown belt, while two more MMA stars showcased their BJJ skills at black belt. (link)

Anton: Seeing Napao is a blast from the past!

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About the author
Tim Bissell
Tim Bissell

Tim Bissell is a writer, editor and deputy site manager for Bloody Elbow. He has covered combat sports since 2015. Tim covers news and events and has also written longform and investigative pieces. Among Tim's specialties are the intersections between crime and combat sports. Tim has also covered head trauma, concussions and CTE in great detail.

Tim is also BE's lead (only) sumo reporter. He blogs about that sport here and on his own substack, Sumo Stomp!

Email me at tim@bloodyelbow.com. Nice messages will get a response.

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