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September 30, 2016

UFC welcomes new owners Affleck, Brady, Levine, Newton, O'Brien, Wahlberg and more – seriously

Sure, you know all about the recent $4 billion sale of the UFC to William Morris Endeavor-International Management Group. But have you heard about the 23 new owners now on board?

On Thursday, UFC officials confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that 23 celebrities have invested in the world's largest MMA promotion. Included on the list are sports stars Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Maria Sharapova, and Serena and Venus Williams, actors Ben Affleck and Mark Wahlberg, musicians Adam Levine and LL Cool J, and talk-show host Conan O'Brien.

O'Brien also announced the deal on Thursday's new episode of "Conan" on TBA, jokingly adding that he would soon be competing in the octagon, as well.

Terms of the investments weren't revealed. A full list of the 23 celebrities is expected to be released on Friday.

WME-IMG co-CEO Ari Emanuel said selecting the 23 for potential investment was simple.

"They would always ask for tickets," Emanuel told The Wall Street Journal, adding, "I think it's a mainstream sport now."

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