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Ike Lawrence Epstein

Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)
Las Vegas, NV

Ike Lawrence Epstein was elected to the Vanderbilt Board of Trust in 2019.  He holds both a Juris Doctorate (’92) and a Bachelor of Arts (’89) from Vanderbilt University.


Mr. Epstein serves as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at UFC, the world’s leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organization.  Mr. Epstein is responsible for all worldwide operations, including managing global business strategies and driving the company’s overall performance and growth.


Mr. Epstein previously served as UFC’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel, where he spearheaded the regulatory efforts for MMA, gaining sanction from legislative bodies around the world.  Under his guidance, UFC has become the fastest growing sports brand in the world, hosting more than 40 live events annually and broadcasting content to 170 countries and territories in 40 different languages, reaching more than one billion households.


Over the years, Mr. Epstein has played a pivotal role in negotiating UFC’s domestic and international media rights deals, which have provided the escalating revenue to fuel the company’s rapid growth.  In 2016, he led the team that negotiated the largest sale of a sports property in history, with Endeavor’s purchase of UFC for a record $4 billion. 


Outside of his role with UFC, Mr. Epstein serves as the President of IKE Gaming, Inc., the owner of the El Cortez Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. 


In 2016, Mr. Epstein was named to the board of directors of the National Fitness Foundation, the official charity of the President's Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition, which encourages youth sports participation in America.  In 2017, he was appointed as a charter member and Vice Chair of the Las Vegas Stadium Authority board of directors, which owns and oversees the city’s new 65,000-seat, $1.9 billion dollar-stadium, home to the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders.  For the past 21 years, Mr. Epstein has also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of The Meadows School, a private non-sectarian pre-K through 12 college preparatory school in Nevada. 


Mr. Epstein is on the Vanderbilt Law School’s Board of Advisors and serves as a member of the Law School Campaign Cabinet and the Tech Transfer Committee.  He was a 2016 and 2017 Giving Day Ambassador and served as a volunteer for the Commodore Recruitment Program.

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