‘Paid Him $30 Million’- Dwayne Johnson’s Recent TKO Deal Gets Honest Assessment From UFC Insider as TKO’s Board of Management Expands

Published 01/25/2024, 1:37 PM EST

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In an unprecedented move, it was announced earlier this week that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson joined TKO Holding’s board of management, the parent company that owns UFC and WWE. This is seen as a homecoming for the superstar, who made his name as one of the most popular wrestlers in WWE history before going to on to becoming a Hollywood sensation.

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The Jumanji star is also the most followed American on social media, and the move has been seen as a way for the parent company to leverage this popularity for the WWE and the UFC. Former UFC fighter Josh ‘The Punk’ Thomson speculated the reasons behind this move.

Thomson thinks Dwayne Johnson joined TKO due to recent controversies

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On their ‘Weighing-In’ podcast, co-host and legendary MMA referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy asked Thomson whether he thought this was done to boost the viewership of the WWE and UFC. The former UFC star, however, disagreed. Thomson pointed to the recent controversies Johnson had been embroiled in, including his infamous fund-raiser with Oprah Winfrey after last year’s Hawaii wildfires.

Winfrey and Johnson had asked fans to donate money, which they would match. Fans were outraged at this and pointed out the wealthy stars could have done more themselves. On his first appearance on Rogan’s podcast, the Hollywood superstar made comments about not knowing anyone wh0 supported President Joe Biden. Thomson felt that the backlash he received because of these controversies was behind Johnson joining the WWE and UFC ownership board, since they had a different fan-base from Hollywood.

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“I think some of it goes the opposite way. Look, I’m gonna go a little bit more of the political way on this. He took a pounding when he did that video in Hawaii with Oprah Winfrey… it just seemed very fake, you know,” Thomson said.

“And apparently some of the Hawaiians were saying that they never received any of the money… And basically said that he wouldn’t vote for Biden…So, I think this is now going the opposite direction, ‘let me join a company that is the complete opposite of what I’ve been attached to right now,” he added. However, he did acknowledge that the deal was a lucrative one for Johnson.

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‘The Rock’ gets $30 million worth TKO shares

Josh Thomson felt the deal made sense financially, for ‘The Rock’. According to reports, along with a seat on the board and full ownership of ‘The Rock’ trademark, Johnson has received $30 million in shares for a merchandizing and services agreement he has agreed to with the company.

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So when I look at this, this is one of those moves I think financially it makes sense for him. I believe they paid him $30 million in shares, I think… and now he also gets a spot on the board and it makes sense,” he added. Do you agree with Thomson’s take on ‘The Rock’s reasons for joining the TKO board?

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Written by:

Kanishk Thakur

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One take at a time

Hi, I am Kanishk and I am a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. I love telling the stories of these magnificent fighters and this wildly unpredictable sport that is so frustrating and yet so joyous at the same time. I never really used to watch MMA, thinking it too crude or brutal a sport to deserve respect.
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Edited by:

Anuj Jacob

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