In 2014, the UFC will hold at least half a dozen events in Europe, and is eyeing the Middle East and Africa too, according to Garry Cook.
Cook, the UFC’s executive vice president and managing director of Europe, appeared on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour and spoke about the importance of the promotion’s European "Fight Night Series." The reason for the influx of European events is simple: Prime time.
"I think I underestimated the amount of content that was on after 3 o’clock in the morning," he told Ariel Helwani. "You really have to be a hardcore fan to see all the live events, the great events. Look at the last two -- look at Houston over the weekend, and look at [Jon] Jones and [Alexander] Gustafsson. I mean, these are monumental moments in our sport and in the history of the UFC. And yet the mainstream [in Europe] don’t get to see them. The next part of our strategy around the globe, and around Europe in particular is to get the sport in to prime time television. Give the fans more events, and give the fans more prime time viewing, and that’s the way forward for us."
Though nothing is set in stone on the exact locations and dates, Cook said that the UFC is planning visits to London in March, as well as Dublin, Istanbul, Poland (either Lodz or Warsaw), Germany (Hamburg or Berlin) and Sweden (either in Malmö or Stockholm). Glasgow is also a possibility for a visit, as is parts of the Middle East (Cook mentioned Qatar, Dubai and Abu Dhabi) and Africa.