Patriots

Patriots

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has been sold for about $4 billion, and the Kraft Group, which owns the Patriots and the Revolution, contributed to the winning bid for the mixed martial arts promotional company.

ESPN reported last month that the Kraft Group had agreed to invest in the WME-IMG bid to purchase UFC, and the Patriots confirmed to CSNNE.com on Monday that indeed the Kraft Group, founded by Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, was an investor in the group that made the purchase.

The New York Times was the first to report that the sale had been completed over the weekend.

WME-IMG is a Hollywood talent agency whose co-CEO Ari Emanuel, per ESPN, had been asking investors "to chip in $25 million to $50 million." The Times has reported that other investors backing the deal are "private equity heavyweights" Silver Lake, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and the investment firm of billionaire Michael S. Dell.

UFC recently held one of the biggest events in its history, UFC 200, in Las Vegas, drawing more than 18,000 fans despite the fact that some of its most well-known fighters -- Jon Jones, Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey -- did not participate. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was among the stars in attendance there to see the action live.

 

There has been some speculation that the money spent to buy the UFC may be turned around to purchase the Oakland Raiders.

Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, brothers with ties to Las Vegas, owned 81 percent of UFC before the sale. They could potentially be interested in buying the Raiders from owner Mark Davis and move the franchise, some believe. However, UFC president Dana White -- who will stay on to run UFC following its purchase -- has denied that the Fertitta brothers are interested in buying the Raiders.

"No. That’s absolutely false," White told The Dan Patrick Show in April. "That’s not true. It’s very well known the Fertitta brothers are lunatics about football. They love football. What they’ve done to help Bishop Gorman become the No. 1 high school team in the country, Lorenzo’s son plays at Notre Dame, Lorenzo’s other son plays at Villanova. They’re definitely football guys, but they’re not looking to buy a football team right now."