Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots NFL American football franchise, is one of the investors in a takeover bid that is being led by the WME-IMG agency for the Ultimate Fighting Championship mixed martial arts series.
Kraft has agreed to invest between $25m (€22m) and $50m in the potential acquisition, according to US sports broadcaster ESPN. The report said that the total value of the deal could be as much as $4bn, with the UFC accepting bids for a potential sale.
Last month, UFC president Dana White denied reports that a sale was imminent.
Reports have claimed that at least four parties have submitted bids for the UFC, whose parent company is Zuffa. Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group was reported to be a leading contender, along with public equity and venture capital firm China Media Capital, US private equity group Blackstone, and WME-IMG.
Investment bank Goldman Sachs is said to be representing Zuffa, which bought the UFC in 2001 for only $2m.