UFC targets Mexico expansion in 2014

Dann Stupp , USA TODAY Sports

Canada, Brazil, Britain and Australia have all been recent targets of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s ambitious expansion plans. However, after years of the world’s most prominent mixed martial arts promotion teasing the possibility, Mexico could finally be next.

To date the UFC has never ventured south of the border despite Mexico’s quickly growing circuit of regional fight promotions. But the pieces are falling into place, including a new TV deal and a planned Spanish-language version of The Ultimate Fighterreality series.

UFC executive Marshall Zelaznik, who serves as a managing director of international development, had hoped an event could take place in Mexico this year, but said that’s probably a bit too ambitious.

“I think it’ll probably slide to next year, in Mexico City,” he told USA TODAY Sports. “If we can get The Ultimate Fighter: Latin Americaand get the live event in Mexico City, that will really token charge our business there.”

In addition to 17 American seasons of its competition/reality series, the UFC has hosted three international installments of TUF. The second wrapped Saturday in Brazil, and an Australia vs. Britain version took place in 2012. Zelaznik said TUF: Latin America could feature fighters from a host of Spanish-speaking countries.

“It’s all one language, so it’s very workable,” he said.

The UFC also would have a suitable TV presence. This past month the organization announced a joint-venture deal with Televisa Networks. As in Brazil, where the organization has a partnership with media company Globo, the Televisa deal will include free UFC programming on existing channels, including the popular Canal 5 in Mexico, and the launch of a new pay-TV channel. It could launch as soon as September.

“It’s significant because Televisa is as big in Mexico and Latin America as Globo is in Brazil,” Zelaznik said. “To have the complete ownership and management of Televisa behind it, I think is going to speak well for how quickly this channel can grow.”

Of course, as with other markets, the UFC’s success in Mexico could hinge on its ability to build and promote local talent. Mexican-American Cain Velasquez, the UFC’s reigning heavyweight champion, is already a star in the country, and bantamweight Erik Perez is a rising bantamweight contender.

In January UFC officials went to Mexico for a scouting trip. More than a hundred UFC hopefuls attended, and UFC President Dana White said it could lead the UFC to adopt its ninth weight class, a 115-pound strawweight division, built primarily around Mexican fighters.

“The culture in Mexico, they’re fighters,” White said at the time. “The greatest fighters in history come from Mexico, and there’s that whole famous Mexican style of fighting.”

If the UFC’s expansion into Mexico proves successful, it could set the blueprint for the rest of the world. That’s especially true of the pay-TV channel. “For us internationally, there’s a lot of opportunity,” Zelaznik said. “Pay TV is growing, and our ability to launch a channel like this becomes very scalable very quickly.”

 

Advertisements

About martialartsoutfitters

We're a company run by martial artists for martial artists. I promise that we will always do our best to serve the martial art community; putting service ahead of profit should they ever conflict. MartialArtsOutfitters.com is your “go to” resource for all things Martial Arts. We also carry a wide selection of fine products for Taekwondo, MMA, and other martial arts. To meet the needs of the discerning martial artist, we have top quality Uniforms, Sparring Gear, Training Equipment, and Weapons, from leading manufacturers. MartialArtsOutfitters.com carries the widest selection from Adidas, Century, Golden Tiger, Master Line, Rev Gear and we proudly feature Ring Star Advantage. These top brands along with our own proprietary martial art products, makes Martial ArtsOutfitters.com your one stop online shopping destination for martial art supplies. To help you in your pursuit of knowledge we feature Books and DVDs from top masters and instructors. For the ultimate home training resource, you can download a training lesson from our Virtual Trainer. If you are looking to stay current with the martial art world, check our Events Section for all of the latest and greatest seminars, competitions, and events. We encourage you to submit information about coming events so we can post it. Simply Contact us and we will be honored to do so. For world class customer service and the answer to all of your martial art needs, make Martial Arts Outfitters.com your “go to” resource
This entry was posted in Martial Arts, MMA. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s