The world of Mixed Martial Arts have gone mainstream as a bevy of music artists, athletes and celebrities have become investors in the UFC, one of the biggest companies in the MMA league.
Rap veteran LL Cool J and R&B superstar The Weeknd are now partial co-owners of the UFC. They join tennis icons Venus and Serena Williams, director Tyler Perry, pop hitmaker Calvin Harris, late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and others.
According to ESPN, each celebrity invested $250,000 to help Hollywood talent agency WME-IMG to help finance its recent $4 billion acquisition of the UFC. Terms of the investments were not disclosed.
“Expanding our ownership group to include this caliber of talent and entrepreneurs is a strong indicator of UFC’s fast-growing global presence,” said UFC president Dana White in a press release. “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.”
UFC is the biggest pay-per-view event provider in the world, with annual events reaching over 156 countries and 1.1 billion TV households globally.
There’s no word if LL Cool J jump in the ring and scrap with some of the fighters but this is a good look for him and the aforementioned celebrities who are fans of the sport.
Don’t worry, Uncle L is still rocking the mic. The Queens, N.Y. native will perform at Austin City Limits with DJ Z-Trip this weekend and on Oct. 8.