UFC, WWE have 5-year deal for Anaheim events

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The UFC and WWE merged last year into one company, the publicly traded TKO Group owned by Hollywood talent agency Endeavor. And now, some of the effects of that merger are coming to light.

The UFC and WWE have signed a joint live event partnership with sports and entertainment district OC Vibe that will bring multiple events from both promotions to Honda Center in Anaheim, California, over the next five years, officials told ESPN on Thursday. An official announcement is expected later Thursday.

Beginning this year, the UFC and WWE will hold at least three events each at the arena through 2028, including the possibility of UFC pay-per-view and Fight Night cards and WWE Raw or SmackDown television programs. The deal does not specifically call for the UFC and WWE to hold events on back-to-back days or in the same week, though it’s a possibility.

The deal is the first of its kind since TKO Group formed officially last September — and it could be indicative of how the new company will package the UFC and WWE together to jurisdictions and tourism authorities in the future. Both promotions have been actively looking for partners for these types of arrangements across the world, where local governments or private companies will pay to bring either one — or both — to their respective regions.

On Saturday, the UFC will hold the UFC 298 pay-per-view event at Honda Center. Two days later, on Monday, WWE hosts Raw in the same building. That was purely a coincidence, but TKO Group is capitalizing on it by offering ticket packages for both events, as well as VIP tickets to watch the UFC event with WWE stars Bianca Belair and Montez Ford.

“For nearly 20 years, Honda Center has been one of UFC’s most favorite venues to visit,” Peter Dropick, the UFC’s executive vice president of event development and operations said in a statement. “The Samueli Family and Honda Center team have been amazing hosts and have helped us put on some of the most memorable UFC events ever. Now the creation of OCVIBE will take the fan experience to the next level with all the innovative ways they will be able to activate around UFC and WWE events in one destination.”

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