UFC is going Hollywood ... and mainstream.
As part of the WME-IMG-backed $4 billion acquisition of UFC in July, nearly two dozen celebrities have become partial owners of the mixed martial arts company.
Among those celebrities are athletes, musicians and both movie and television stars, including: The Weekend, Adam Levine, Anthony Kiedis, Ben Affleck, Calvin Harris, Cam Newton, Conan O'Brien, Flea, Guy Fieri, Jimmy Kimmel, Li Na, LL COOL J, Maria Sharapova, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Bay, Rob Dyrdek, Robert Kraft, Serena Williams, Sylvester Stallone, Tom Brady, Trey Parker, Tyler Perry and Venus Williams.
Newton, Brady, Kraft, Sharapova and the Williams sisters obviously stand out from the sports world, while Levine, Affleck, Stallone and Perry are some of Hollywood's biggest names.
"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 on Friday in a statement released by the company. "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."
According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, each celebrity was required to invest a minimum of $250,000 as part of of their ownership stake. The Wall Street Journal notes that the aforementioned celebrities are fans of UFC because "they would always ask for tickets," according to WME-IMG co-CEO Ari Emanuel, who solicited the investments.