The UFC has made it clear they intend on taking The Ultimate Fighter reality series international. Plans to do so are already in effect, as Brazil stands to be the first location to land TUF outside American borders, with other nations on tap to do the same.
“The show is going to be so huge down in Brazil,” UFC president Dana White said on Thursday. “We’re going to do one in Canada, we’re going to do one down in Australia, we’re going to do one in the U.K.”
But that’s not where the story ends. In addition to taking the show international, White hopes to eventually conduct TUF houses in other countries simultaneously, and winners from each country’s household will face each other to determine a world winner.
“What I eventually want to do is do The Ultimate Fighter in all these different countries,” White said. “We’ll kick it off at the same time and then the winner of those countries will then fight the winners of the other countries. So it almost becomes the World Cup and you end up with one winner worldwide.”
Immediate plans to initiate the TUF World Cup weren’t shared, but White did say casting for TUF: Brazil begins almost immediately following this weekend’s UFC 140 card in Toronto. The UFC president said he flies out to Brazil at the beginning of the week and things are developing as more time passes.
“I start casting on Monday in Brazil,” he said. “So we’re on our way.”
Coaches for the reality show are constantly speculated leading into the season. Names like Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva come to mind as good fits for the first TUF in Brazil. White says a lot of names are in the hat to coach the show, but no decisions have been made. In addition, it looks like Fuel TV is going to be where TUF: Brazil lands when it comes time to air the show in America, according to the UFC executive.
But Brazil is just the jumping off point for TUF’s international infiltration.
“The ones that we know are gonna be first are Brazil, Canada, U.K., Australia, and still possibly the Philippines. I’m thinking in the next year we’ll be kicking off all these countries,” said White.
He sees The Ultimate Fighter as the promotion’s no-so-secret weapon to truly take the UFC brand worldwide.
“People around the world are interested in The Ultimate Fighter, who wins it and stuff. Imagine now when it’s in everybody’s country and then they get to fight all these different guys from around the world. I think this thing is gonna be so huge, it’s just a no-brainer,” White commented.
“You look at ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ here. I think we ended up with four guys in this last finale that have potential and can be stars. Imagine doing that in every country all over the world. You do two seasons a year and you end up with five to 10 guys an entire country is behind and knows. The guy who wins the world, huge.”