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Vince McMahon to have power to make UFC decisions after merger

LockerRoom Team
15 September 2023

In a groundbreaking move that sent shockwaves through the world of sports entertainment, Vince McMahon, the 78-year-old visionary behind WWE, has taken on a new role as Executive Chairman of TKO Group Holdings following the merger of WWE and UFC. The historic merger was officially confirmed on Tuesday, marking the end of McMahon's reign as the majority shareholder in WWE.

Vince McMahon's journey in the world of professional wrestling began in 1979 when he founded Titan Sports. Three years later, he acquired WWE from his father, solidifying his position as the controlling shareholder and steward of the WWE brand. For decades, McMahon has been synonymous with WWE, shaping its evolution and driving it to unprecedented heights.

However, the landscape changed dramatically this week as WWE and UFC joined forces, ushering in a new era in sports entertainment. Parent company Endeavor has emerged as the majority stakeholder in TKO Group Holdings, with McMahon now holding a 34 percent stake. WWE shareholders collectively hold 49 percent of the shares.

Despite the seismic shift, fans can breathe a sigh of relief, as little is expected to change immediately regarding the WWE product. Paul 'Triple H' Levesque will continue to lead the creative team. However, the executive ranks have seen a reshuffle, with Vince McMahon assuming the role of Executive Chairman at TKO Group Holdings. He is one of five WWE representatives on an 11-member board, with Nick Khan stepping into the role of WWE President, mirroring Dana White's position on the UFC side.

Notably, reports suggest that McMahon wields veto power in his new role, potentially influencing UFC's decision-making process. Nevertheless, insiders deem it "very surprising" if McMahon were to exercise this power in relation to UFC.

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For the first time since his acquisition of WWE, McMahon finds himself with someone above him in the political hierarchy. Ari Emanuel, CEO of Endeavor and TKO Group Holdings, now holds the reins of power, overseeing the entire operation.

According to Nick Khan, McMahon's interest in a partnership between Endeavor and WWE began when he attended a UFC event in July. Speaking to ESPN, Khan stated, "It's not really his thing to go to basketball games, football games - it's just not what he does. When he decided, 'Yeah, I want to go,' ... and when he went, that's when I believe he started thinking about it, and it all started to manifest when we engaged in a fulsome process starting this past January."

The merger of WWE and UFC into TKO Group Holdings has undoubtedly reshaped the landscape of sports entertainment, leaving fans and industry insiders eager to see what the future holds under Vince McMahon's new role as Executive Chairman.

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