Combat sports entertainment saw its largest shakeup when the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) merged. The multi-billion dollar merger will see Endeavor take a 51% controlling interest in the merged company with the rest going to the WWE. A little over a month later, the companies confirmed the name of the single entity they will form after combining.
TKO Group Holdings, the combined name, confirmed with CNBC that it will operate under the TKO symbol after it becomes public on the New York Stock Exchange later this year.
The name, TKO, stands for Technical Knock Out, in both industries. It's a homage to a term in combat sports where a match ends after a participant can no longer continue. These types of knockouts highlight the intense competition in each sport.
It's important to note this consolidation sees the merging of two of the most successful sports entertainment organizations ever as part of a strategic business move. By merging and transitioning into a public entity, TKO Group Holdings will allow fans and investors alike to partake in the company's future success.
So far, no significant change has been made as part of the merger. But, it wouldn't surprise us if, once the purchase closes, both companies consider crossover storylines and matchups. The WWE has a handful of legitimate professional fighters on the roster, the chief of which is Brock Lesnar. Not to mention, the likes of Leon Edwards and even Conor McGregor have voiced their desire to compete in the WWE.
Can you imagine seeing UFC fighters stepping into the WWE ring? This is a more likely scenario than seeing WWE stars test their might in the UFC octagon, but we'll never know.
What's important is that such crossovers are now more real than ever.
There's little doubt that this merger's outcome will be positive for both companies and will come with detractors, namely a handful of sports entertainment enthusiasts and industry experts. But, we can't deny the formation of TKO Group Holdings will create waves in the world of combat sports.