Eric Bischoff discusses WWE's merger with UFC.
After months of rumors regarding a potential WWE sale, the company announced that it reached an agreement with Endeavor, UFC's parent company, on April 3. As part of this agreement, which is expected to close in the second half of 2023, WWE will merge with UFC and form a new company. Vince McMahon will serve as the Executive Chair of the Board for the new company.
In an interview with Jon Chuckery, Bischoff was asked about the merger and how he thinks it will impact WWE. He stated that he thinks the dynamics will mostly be a factor behind the scenes, and he believes both companies will benefit.
"I think 75% of the dynamics and the evolution between WWE and UFC [will be] under an umbrella. I think 75% of those dynamics are going to happen behind the scenes. I think UFC is going to benefit tremendously from the sophisticated, mature — it's been around for a long time, licensing and merchandising infrastructure that comes with this acquisition. I guarantee you it is a much more sophisticated and mature and well-connected group of licensing and individual professionals in WWE than there is in UFC as well who's gonna benefit from that? UFC is gonna benefit a lot from that. That's one of the big ticket items that I see coming out of this right off the bat is a strong improvement UFC licensing and merchandising. Also, UFC is going to benefit from probably a much more sophisticated and well-established international licensing and television arm with that that exists in WWE, they've been doing it longer. That business is all about relationships and leverage. WWE is so well-established internationally that that will benefit UFC as well. On the WWE side. I think there's going to be a lot of benefits that come with the leverage of Ari Emanuel and the gravity that he and Endeavor bring to the table in terms of an agency," Bischoff said.
Bischoff continued by describing how he doesn't think the merger is a play for Vince McMahon to stay in power. He noted that McMahon didn't have to make the sale happen. Bischoff also shared his belief that McMahon wanted to go out on his terms, and this deal allowed him to do so.
"I don't see this as a play for Vince McMahon to stay in power. I really go. I mean, he didn't have to consummate the sale. He put himself back in power. We saw that long before the announcement was made in the sales consummated closed. So it's not consummated. It's not consummated yet, probably won't close for another 90 days, 120 days. I think this was the most interesting and it was the best way for Vince McMahon to go out. I don't think Vince McMahon wanted to sit in that chair until he was 98, but I think he wanted to go up under his own terms, and that's what this deal is. This is Vince McMahon going out on his terms and not anybody else's. That's what I see in all of this," Bischoff said.
WWE CEO Nick Khan commented on the looming merger between WWE and UFC and highlighted cost synergy. Click here to see what he had to say.
Endeavor's Mark Shapiro has said the company will run the UFC playbook with WWE. More information is available here.
Dana White previously noted that there won't be any more of a crossover between WWE and UFC than fans have already seen. Check out his comments here.
If you use any of the quotes above, please credit the original source with a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription.