MMAPayout.com has learned that the UFC, despite their love to hate the IFL, is negotiations to purchase the dying organization.
Inside MMA has learned that the UFC is in the process of acquiring the IFL. The news was shared with MMAPayout.com this morning by a senior producer of the show. MMAPayout.com was then able to independently confirm that the companies are engaged in negotiations concerning a potential acquisition.
Sam Caplan over at FiveOuncesOfPain.com provides a few more details.
Previous reports indicated that the asking price for the IFL was $1,000,000. According to a source speaking on the condition of anonymity, the IFL has been accepting bids the past several weeks with several existing promotions submitting offers. The source indicated that it was likely Zuffa’s bid was less than the $1,000,000 reported asking price.
The primary assets of any possible deal are considered to be the IFL’s film library, which contains over 400 fights, along with the contracts of several of the promotion’s premier fighters. It’s unclear whether Zuffa has any proposed plans for the IFL’s library other than to use the footage to promote fighters it would absorb through a possible acquisition.
After speaking to a manager of several IFL fighters on Tuesday, there was some uncertainty expressed as to whether all of the fighter contracts would be transferable. It’s possible that while attempting to close a deal that Zuffa would try to get several of the IFL’s top stars to sign new deals. One source indicated that if IFL fighters are acquired by Zuffa through an acquisition that they would be divided between the UFC and WEC.
While it certainly wouldn’t be as big (or disastrous) as the PRIDE asset acquisition, it still shows the power the UFC has in the marketplace. A sub $1 million sale price is pocket change for the UFC, and like the PRIDE deal, it would keep an extensive fight library (although it is believed Fuji TV still owns a large portion of the PRIDE library) and likely a few key fighters out of the competition’s hands.
I think it’s safe to say (if it wasn’t already) that we will never see another IFL show.