UFC president Dana White could be making as much as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in his new deal under the UFC's new ownership.
Sources tell ESPN that White's new deal is for five years and for nine percent of the company's net profits. The deal also gives White incentive to further grow the business instead of having a locked-in salary. When reached on Tuesday, White declined comment.
Sources confirmed that White owned nine percent of the UFC, which would mean he'd be receiving roughly $360 million from the organization's recent $4 billion sale to agency WME-IMG when the deal closes. It was not immediately known if White is retaining any percentage of the new company.
UFC chairman Lorenzo Fertitta, who with his brother Frank owned 80 percent of the enterprise and will leave the UFC under the new deal, told CNN in December that the business grossed $600 million in 2015.
Figuring out what the business actually nets after all expenses is an inexact science, but based on a ballpark estimate of what other entertainment businesses net after costs, the UFC's bottom line could be in the $200 million range. That would make White's yearly take about $18 million to start.
For comparison's sake, Goodell averaged $21 million a year in compensation for his first 10 years as commissioner.
The $4 billion deal is the largest in professional sports history. WME-IMG is joined in the deal by three investment groups: Silver Lake Capital, which owns a piece of WME-IMG; KKR; and MSD Capital, computer mogul Michael Dell's investment group.
White and the Fertitta brothers bought the business in January 2001 for $2 million.