Cook served as the chief executive of current Premier League champions Manchester City between 2008 and 2011. Cook resigned from his post at City in September 2011 after details emerged of an insensitive email sent by Cook to the mother of then Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha.
Prior to his work with City the 50-year-old spent a 12-year spell with Nike.
"Garry is a man with a fantastic record for high-profile achievements in the sports industry with tremendous international experience," said UFC president Dana White. "We are confident he will continue the huge developments the UFC has made internationally and lead us to further success."
Cook added, "I am absolutely delighted to be joining the UFC. Mixed martial arts is one of the most popular sports globally and to be working in such a dynamic and exciting industry, with the UFC’s talented, passionate and committed staff and athletes, is an honour. I look forward to being a part of the team as they continue to grow internationally.”
Cook was replaced nearly a year later, on the eve of the start of the Barclay's Premier League, by Ferran Soriano.
Soriano, whose appointment was an open secret for some months, is a former vice-chairman and chief executive at La Liga club FC Barcelona.