The Business of MMA in 2023: UFC produced over $1 billion in revenue, PFL buys Bellator, fighters turn to OnlyFans

The global pandemic crushed a lot of businesses across the globe, but it’s safe to say the UFC is one of the biggest success stories to emerge from that disastrous time.

While the pandemic prompted down years for just about everybody, the UFC still exploded in popularity over the past three years, securing bigger sponsorship deals, higher viewership, and strangely enough an invulnerability to losing fan interest in events that didn’t always have great name value attached. Case in point: Conor McGregor hasn’t fought since 2021 yet the past two years have still been the best ever for the UFC financially.

Now that the UFC operates as a publicly traded company — first under Endeavor and now as part of TKO Group Holdings — financial disclosures are regularly reported. What that shows is that the UFC has become a juggernaut of profitability, with revenue increases quarter after quarter, transforming the promotion into a company valued at over triple the-more-than $4 billion price tag Ari Emanuel and his investors at Endeavor paid for it in 2016.

UFC went on a ridiculous streak of sellouts at arenas, and while that momentum eventually stopped, the organization has still broken several live gate records over the past year.

A deep dive into the numbers in 2023 proves that the UFC isn’t slowing down, and if anything, the organization may be gaining steam heading into 2024 and beyond — 2025 will almost assuredly become the UFC’s biggest financial year because the company will ink a new broadcast rights deal worth billions. Multi-billions actually.

But for now, we’re going to take a look at the biggest business stories related to the MMA world in 2023 — and just for transparency’s sake, there’s one issue we won’t be tackling with this article, which is the effect of the ongoing class-action lawsuit against the UFC. That’s not to say information revealed from the lawsuit won’t be referenced, but its full financial impact won’t be felt until there’s either a settlement or the case goes to trial, and that’s not happening in 2023.

So with that said, let’s get started with a look at the UFC’s financials based on disclosures through the first nine months of the year (the final quarter won’t be reported until early 2024 so those aren’t available just yet).

UFC Produced More Than $1 Billion in Revenue in Just 9 Months

That’s probably the most

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Trump’s Business Empire Is Worth at Least $1.2 Billion Since He Left Office

(Bloomberg) — Former President Donald Trump values his business empire at a minimum of $1.2 billion, a federal document released Friday showed, as he cashed in from speaking engagements and ventures such as digital trading cards after he left office.

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His empire generated at least $282 million over 2021 and most of 2022, according to the 101-page financial disclosure report filed with the Federal Election Commission as he campaigns for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

Exact figures are difficult to ascertain — both because many of Trump’s holdings are in illiquid real estate assets and because federal disclosures require reporting only in broad ranges, with the top one over $50 million. There were 19 assets Trump valued in that range, including his golf clubs in Virginia and Turnberry, Scotland.

Still, the filing showed that Trump, who highlighted his business experience during his first White House campaign, remains a wealthy man and has found ways to profit from his political career during his post-presidency. He made as much as $1 million from selling the digital trading cards featuring cartoon images of him in superhero poses.

The value of his holdings in Trump Media & Technology Group Corp., the parent company of his Twitter-like Truth Social website, was $5 million to $25 million. Trump owns 90% of the company, which is seeking regulatory approval to be acquired by the blank-check company Digital World Acquisition Corp.

Trump didn’t disclose those who paid him more than $5 million in speaking fees. In 2016, he criticized his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, for earning millions for giving speeches to corporate clients such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc., payments she made public. Candidates are required to disclose any source paying them $5,000 or more during the filing period.

Trump listed debts totaling at least $225 million. That included mortgages of more than $50 million he took on Trump Tower in New York and Trump National Doral in Florida in 2022 from Axos Bank. He paid off at least $165 million in debts, including loans from Deutsche Bank on Trump Tower and the former Trump International Hotel in Washington, which he sold.

Melania Trump, who made little outside income while she was first lady, has also fared well after leaving the White House. She reported between $1 million to $5 million through royalties from her modeling career and from a line of

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