UFC sold to WME-IMG-led buyers for $4 billion (Report)

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UFC 200 Was A Night Of Upsets And New Champions

The Ultimate Fighting Championship will announce as soon as Monday that it has sold itself to buyers led by WME-IMG for about $4 billion, according to reports. It would be the most expensive transaction for an organization in the history of sports, ESPN said.

League President Dana White, reached by ESPN on Sunday night, called the sale bittersweet. He had denied that the organization was for sale since an ESPN report two months ago. Brothers Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta bought the 23-year-old organization for $2 million 16 years ago.

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Citing people with knowledge of the deal, the New York Times reported Sunday that the backers include private equity companies Silver Lake, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and billionaire Michael S. Dell's investment firm.

UFC is a rich mine of content, offering more than 2,000 hours of programming each year, the paper said. The league's fights are shown in more than 156 countries and across the United States, and skews heavily toward millennials, the Times noted. (CM Punk, pictured, is set to debut soon.)

See photos from UFC 200:

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UFC 200
Cain Velasquez celebrates after defeating Travis Browne in their heavyweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 200, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Cain Velasquez, right, fights Travis Browne during their heavyweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 200, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Cain Velasquez, top, fights Travis Browne during their heavyweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 200, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Travis Browne, left, tried to fend off Cain Velasquez during their heavyweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 200, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Cain Velasquez, left, throws a left at Travis Browne during their heavyweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 200, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Frankie Edgar, left, hits Jose Aldo during their featherweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 200, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Jose Aldo celebrates after defeating Frankie Edgar during their featherweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 200, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Jose Aldo, left, and Frankie Edgar trade blows during their featherweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 200, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Daniel Cormier, top, pressure Anderson Silva during their light heavyweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 200, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Brock Lesnar smiles after defeating Mark Hunt during their heavyweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 200, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Brock Lesnar, left, takes down Mark Hunt during their heavyweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 200, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Brock Lesnar, top, fights Mark Hunt during their heavyweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 200, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Brock Lesnar celebrates after defeating Mark Hunt during their heavyweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 200, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Amanda Nunes celebrates after defeating Miesha Tate during their women's bantamweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 200, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Amanda Nunes, left, fights Miesha Tate during their women's bantamweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 200, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 09: An overhead view of the Octagon as Amanda Nunes of Brazil punches Miesha Tate during the UFC 200 event at T-Mobile Arena on July 9, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Amanda Nunes, left, fights Miesha Tate during their women's bantamweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 200, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Amanda Nunes celebrates after defeating Miesha Tate during their women's bantamweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 200, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Amanda Nunes celebrates after defeating Miesha Tate during their women's bantamweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 200, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 09: UFC women's bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes of Brazil speaks to the media during the UFC 200 post-fight press conference at T-Mobile Arena on July 9, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 09: Amanda Nunes of Brazil exits the Octagon after defeating Miesha Tate during the UFC 200 event on July 9, 2016 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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White told ESPN that fans should not be worried about the change in ownership.

"Exact opposite," White said. "Sport is going to the next level."

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