Remember when Dana White said Zuffa might be willing to sell a small stake in the UFC if the right partner came along?
Well, according to Five Oz., the right partner did come along, and he happens to be Sheik Tahnoon of Abu Dhabi.
FiveOuncesofPain.com has recently received reports from multiple sources extremely close to the situation indicating that the UFC has recently sold a minority percentage of the company to Sheik Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the son of the former United Arab Emirates president Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Sheik Tahnoon is well known throughout the grappling community as the founder of the no-gi submission Olympics, the Abu Dhabi Combat Club. Himself a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Renzo Gracie, Shiek Tahnoon has been a long time supporter and practitioner of Jiu-Jitsu.
It’s no secret Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta were making trips to Abu Dhabi and spending time with Sheik Tahnoon. They both posted about it several times on Twitter in recent months. However, everyone assumed they were merely working on a deal to bring a UFC event to Abu Dhabi, which we now know will be UFC 112.
Apparently there was more to it. According to the report, Renzo Gracie, who was also in Abu Dhabi at one point with Dana White, helped broker the deal between Sheik Tahnoon and Zuffa. Additionally, Gracie’s UFC contract and scheduled fight against Matt Hughes at UFC 112 were described as “key components” of the deal.
The UFC has yet to confirm the report.