04-15-2012, 09:15 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
| | White suggests UFC could create regional fight circuits and champions
Link to full article: White suggests UFC could create regional fight circuits and champions | MMAjunkie.com
STOCKHOLM – The way Dana White sees it, the organization needs more events, not fewer. |
As the UFC president hits a grueling part of a ridiculously busy 2012 fight schedule, White sees a need to add even more shows to the lineup.
As White told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com), it's the only way to keep a consistent presence in key international markets while also giving new fighters – specifically those on the new international editions of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series – a place to cut their teeth.
"The bottom line is as we start kicking off all these 'Ultimate Fighters' in other countries, it's going to open up the floodgates for a lot more fighters, and guys are going to need a lot more experience," White told MMAjunkie.com after Saturday's UFC on FUEL TV 2 event in Stockholm. "So, we're working on it."
The UFC recently kicked off the first international edition of its reality series with "TUF: Brazil." While the show is relegated to a Sunday-night online home in the U.S., it broadcasts nationally in Brazil on Globo and reaches approximately 10 million weekly TV viewers.
India is next up, and White said a U.K. vs. Australia version of the show also is in the works.
But once the show is over and the fighters have been introduced to the masses, they need a place to fight. With the UFC already having an abundance of signed fighters, it creates a problem for White and UFC Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta.
"Lorenzo and I were literally talking about this before the show started tonight, and we're coming up with some ideas on how to – believe it or not – do more events so that we can feed these markets that are dying for it," White said. "The U.K. keeps terrorizing us. Ireland is part of it, but (we're) going back to Ireland, too. And Scotland. A guy here tonight was asking about Norway. Germany we haven't been back to. Every time we got to Australia, it's insane.
"There are a lot of markets that are starved. India – we're going to go to India. The list goes on and on and on. China we were talking about tonight, too. But we're working on figuring out how to feed all these markets so they don't have to wait so long."
One solution is country-specific fight circuits – an idea White has suggested in the past. Instead of moving all international fighters to the UFC's primary shows, smaller events could take place in the international markets. In fact, they could take place on nights the UFC hosts shows in North American – creating dual-event nights.
Admittedly, there are hurdles.
"We've talked about doing two shows at the same time," White said. "We've talked about doing a lot of stuff. But one of the things you guys have got to understand, the hardest part is the infrastructure. It's creating all this new talent, and it's not just fighters. It's commentators. It's (cage announce Bruce) Buffer's position. Cameramen. (It's) all the things that go along with putting on the event that we put on. It's a lot of work."
But that, essentially, could lead to regional UFC champs. In addition to UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos, for example, the UFC could have a European champion, an Asian champion – even a South American champion.
All sorts of logistics would need to be figured out, but White said the idea is a constant source of discussion.
"We talked about [regional champions]," he said. "We talked about rankings – just like boxing, guys ranked in other countries. So you end up being ranked. I don't know. You have UFC champions, and then you have guys that are ranked in different countries. It absolutely makes sense. In the big picture, long-term, it absolutely makes perfect sense."
04-15-2012, 04:27 PM
Status: The Geri Curl Warlord
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: with my parents of course
This is actually a good move by the UFC. I could even see a world wide regional tourny of champions for a shot at the UFC title. Very nice idea Dana. Plus it would give MMA fans more fights, they could stream it on UFC.com and make even more money to help pay for it. Honestly I'm kind of surprised the UFC hadn't thought of this years ago for the U.S eventually they will need to come up with regional promotions hear to accommodate the huge swell of fighters starting MMA every year. If Bellator is smart, they would try to get the jump on the UFC by starting regional leagues as well.....because if the UFC succeeds it would tie up lots of new talent that would otherwise be fighting in Bellator and other small promotions.....But I wonder how that would play out with the government. They've already been up the UFC's ass about running a "monopoly" if the contracts are "exclusive" then the UFC might actually become a "monopoly".....
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