For the past couple of years, UFC president Dana White has teased about the worldwide expansion of not only the UFC, but their flagship reality show The Ultimate Fighter.
White recently revealed that the promotion is already working on the Brazilian edition of the show that will debut in 2012, and over the long run, they have much bigger plans on a global scale.
“I just announced last week about The Ultimate Fighter Brazil, the amount of talent that The Ultimate Fighter Brazil is going to create is going to be phenomenal. As we continue to go into these different markets and do The Ultimate Fighter, it’s just going to get very interesting,” White said on Wednesday.
The UFC president has talked numerous times about expanding and doing a reality show in Canada, England, the Philippines, China, and other markets where mixed martial arts is thriving.
The end goal would be for The Ultimate Fighter to run several tournaments in all of these different countries, and then crown one unanimous winner across an international format similar to what soccer does with the World Cup.
“Finally, I feel like I’m on my way. My goal is to get The Ultimate Fighter running in all these different countries at the same time, and when you have a winner, you do like a World Cup. Where each guy from each country fights each other and you end up with one winner,” said White.
“We’re getting closer and closer to this dream I’ve had for the last five years.”
The global market has become a huge source of revenue for the UFC and gaining new viewers from a show like The Ultimate Fighter might be the next breeding ground for success, as well as a hotbed of new talent.
A tournament format like the World Cup could finally re-introduce the UFC to its roots, albeit in a much different nature than the founders of the promotion started with.
It’s doubtful, however, that Dana White will ever be okay with a stadium full of vuvuzelas playing in unison, but for an Ultimate Fighter World Cup, maybe he’d make an exception.