The UFC’s German invasion has shaped up quickly, with the bulk of the June 13 fighters confirmed in less than a month.
More than half the fighters on the card are either foreign-born or based outside the US, with one fighter, Peter Sobotta, bringing in the hometown crowd as a resident of Balingen, only 272 miles, or 438 kilometers, from the 20,000 seat Lanxess Arena in Cologne.
The UFC recently inked a deal with German sports network DSF to air UFC content, including live or tape-delayed events.
At the festivities for UFC 96 last weekend, UFC president Dana White said the European card would come at a premium for those watching in the US.
“It will be a pay per view event,” White told reporters.
In past overseas events, the time difference has not been friendly to pay per view buyrates. So far, none of the Europe based pay events have cracked the 300,000 range. While by no means are those slim numbers, and the promotion has done extremely well in live attendance numbers, there appeared to be a push towards airing the events free for Spike TV viewers. UFC 99 appears to be a break from that strategy.
So far, the only official bout on the card is the main event, between Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva at a catch weight of 195lbs. Tickets for the event go on sale to the public in three days.