Russian Tennis star Maria Sharapova is making the most out of her time off the court. While serving a two-year ban due to a positive doping test, Sharapova has been focusing on other things. Her latest venture involves becoming an investor in mixed martial arts outfit UFC.
Sharapova reportedly joined fellow tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams in their decision to invest in the UFC. RT explains that the move came after the UFC underwent a takeover by William Morris Endeavor (WME-IMG). The deal reportedly costs US$4 billion, and WME-IMG gave their superstar clients a chance to buy into the deal.
Tom Brady is another high-profile athlete who has been named as an investor. Likewise, music and Hollywood celebrities like Adam Levine, LL Cool J, Sylvester Stallone and comedian Conan O’Brien have become part-owners of the UFC.
The investment opportunity was offered to the celebrities ahead of UFC 205. The much-awaited event marks the return of mixed martial arts in New York City. It will be held in Madison Square Garden in November. The event is headlined by Irish fighter Conor McGregor who takes on Eddie Alvarez in a bid to hold simultaneous belts in two weight divisions.
Maria Sharapova is also awaiting the verdict of her appeal against her two-year doping ban. The verdict will reportedly be released this week. She was penalized after testing positive for banned substance meldonium in this year’s Australian Open. She has since been seen enrolling in Harvard Business School, where she is learning about asset management in a specialized course for athletes and other celebrities.
She has also teased her return by sharing a lot of photos and video from training sessions on-court. If the verdict goes in her favor, Sharapova could be back in competitive tennis by the start of 2017. On the other hand, if things go the other way, she may not be able to return until January 2018.