Since graduating from the University of Michigan’s law school in 1988, Donn Davis has spent his career working in the sports, media, technology and entertainment industries. He’s held numerous high-profile jobs, including serving as general counsel to the Chicago Cubs and later as a senior executive at America Online’s internet business group in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In 2005, he and AOL co-founder Steve Case launched Revolution, a Washington, D.C.-based investment firm.
Davis is a sports fan and keeps track of the latest business trends, but he didn’t know much about mixed martial arts until July 2016 when a group led by Endeavor Group Holdings Inc. acquired the Ultimate Fighting Championship for $4 billion.
“It was clear MMA was big,” Davis said.
That deal piqued Davis’s interest, and less than a year later he, longtime investor Mark Leschly and veteran financier Russ Ramsey led a group that acquired the World Series of Fighting, an MMA promotion. Last year, the WSOF was re-launched as the Professional Fighters League with a new format aimed at resembling more mainstream sports leagues such as the National Football League, Major League Baseball and National Basketball Association.