Tom Brady, Ben Affleck, and More Join UFC Ownership Group

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Conor McGregor celebrates after defeating Chad Mendes during their interim featherweight title mixed martial arts bout at UFC 189 Saturday, July 11, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Photo by AP

A who’s who list of notable locals have teamed up with a collection of high-profile investors to form the group that recently purchased Ultimate Fighting Championship.

The mixed martial arts organization confirmed the news on Friday morning after it was first announced on Conan O’Brien’s TBS show Thursday night. The late-night host is apart of a huge group of investors, which includes fellow Boston-loving stars Tom Brady, Robert Kraft, Ben Affleck, and Mark Wahlberg.

Other big name partners are Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, Adam Levine, Anthony Kiedis, Calvin Harris, Cam Newton, Flea, Guy Fieri, Jimmy Kimmel, Li Na, LL COOL J, Maria Sharapova, Michael Bay, Rob Dyrdek, Serena Williams, Sylvester Stallone, Trey Parker, Tyler Perry, and Venus Williams.

“Expanding our ownership group to include this caliber of talent and entrepreneurs is a strong indicator of UFC’s fast-growing global presence,” UFC president Dana White said in a statement. “Our new investors bring an incredible depth of knowledge and experience to help us continue to elevate this brand and capitalize on its entertainment and sports crossover appeal.”

WME-IMG, which represents many of the stars who invested, purchased the UFC for $4 billion in July. The agency gave its clients an opportunity to buy into the MMA promotion following the purchase, according to O’Brien’s announcement.

Boston and the UFC have quite a few connections thanks to White, a diehard Patriots fan who lived in the city for a time and was once roommates with Wahlberg. No wonder why Brady was spotted hanging out with Justin Timberlake at UFC 200 over the summer.

It will be interesting to see how many local stars will stop by upcoming events, like the highly-anticipated UFC 205 card at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Check out O’Brien’s full announcement video below.

Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/2016/09/30/tom-brady-ben-affleck-and-more-join-ufc-ownership-group/