The UFC recently announced plans to expand its reach in Asia through a media partnership in Indonesia.
MNC Media, based in Jakarta, will be airing UFC programming in the country, which is home to 238 million people. And there is a plan in place to bring live UFC events to Indonesia, a well.
But along with the partnership comes a fighter development program that will cultivate MMA talent in the country to help grow the sport in that region of the world.
The fighter development program is set to launch this month in Indonesia and will include tryouts on March 9-10. The UFC's plan is for chosen fighters to then take place in a training camp in Jakarta as part of a whittling-down process. And ultimately, the candidate pool would be narrowed to fighters who would then travel to the United States to work with MMA trainers – all with the goal of ultimately competing in the UFC.
"We're delighted to partner on these initiatives with MNC Media, by far Indonesia's No. 1 integrated media group, and very excited about growth prospects here," stated Mark Fischer, the executive vice president and managing director of UFC Asia. "Our partnership with MNC Media will bring our wide range of UFC programming to tens of millions of potential new UFC fans throughout Indonesia, while also developing our sport in this vast market."
UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson traveled to Jakarta to be part of the announcement of the partnership.
"I'm so excited about the UFC expanding to Indonesia, such a big new market for the sport of MMA," Henderson stated. "The UFC-MNC fighter development program will bring new opportunities for Indonesian fighters to hone their skills and pursue their dreams. Everyone knows that martial arts were born in Asia – now it's time to create UFC world champions from Asia.”