UFC Announces Expansion into Puerto Rico

March 26, 2014
Comments off

Dana-White-UFC-144-pre-press-3UFC president Dana White announced on Wednesday in Puerto Rico the organization’s expansion plans for the island, noting Puerto Rico’s rich history in combat sports. The expansion includes the appointment of local sports entrepreneur Peter Rivera as the UFC’s representative in the region. Rivera will be responsible for the commercial management of the UFC brand and the coordination of all details relating to Pay-Per-View sales, tryouts, seminars and special presentations of UFC fighters on the island. Rivera has represented various local boxing promotions as well as several Puerto Rican champions.

In addition to Rivera’s appointment, White and UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, along with his brother, Sergio, a rising UFC bantamweight star, toured the island. The Pettis brothers, who are Puerto Rican, led seminars for nearly 100 aspiring local mixed martial artists, as well as visited Coliseo de Puerto Rico arena.

“The UFC is committed to growing the sport on the island of Puerto Rico,” White said. “I’m excited to partner with somebody as accomplished and respected as Peter Rivera, who we will work alongside in building the UFC in Puerto Rico.”

“It is an honor to be chosen by the UFC to represent them in Puerto Rico, as it is the fastest growingsports company in the world,” Rivera said. “Puerto Rico has been distinguished by its love of combat sports. With the Pettis brothers, Dennis Bermudez and other Puerto Rican fighters rising in the sport, we expect an unprecedented explosion of UFC fans throughout Puerto Rico.”

The relationship between the UFC and Puerto Rico has historical ties. In 1996, UFC 8 was held at theRubén Rodríguez Coliseum, where Ken Shamrock defeated Kimo Leopoldo by submission in the main event.

Follow MMAWeekly.com on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

  • Raúl Álzaga

    One small correction.
    The Pettis brothers are not Puerto Rican, but rather of Puerto Rican descent through their father’s side. His grandfather Eugenio Pérez moved from Puerto Rico to Wisconsin more than 40 years ago. To avoid discrimination at that time and be able to get a job, his grandpa chose to change his last name from Pérez to Pettis. In addition, Anthony Pettis’ fiancée and mother of his daughter is from Puerto Rico and he visits his mother-in-law, at least, twice a year. On their mother’s side, the Pettis brothers are of Mexican descent. Her mother’s name is Anette García.
    One last thing, there are 8 fighters of Puerto Rican descent under UFC contract. Aside from the Pettis brothers, the others are Dennis “The Menace” Bermúdez (145), Chico Camus (135),
    Dustin Ortiz (125), Jim Alers (will debut in Abu Dhabi card), Lyman Good (former Bellator welterweight champ who will debut in TUF 19) and female Tecia Torres (formerly of InvictaFC who will debut at TUF 20).
    The next step now is to get a Puerto Rican fighter born and developed in the island. Look out in the next year for guys like Elvin León Brito (145), Eric “La Bestia” Rodríguez (125), Jonathan “El Chacal” de Jesús (135) and Billy Molina (145), to name a few.

    • shakejunt

      thanks for all the info. i almost expected them to do gil-pettis in mexico alongside cain, but i’m not so sure that happens.

      this definitely explains why puerto rico was excluded from the latin american tuf that will be happening.

  • DamianCross

    Kudos to the UFC for furthering the spread of MMA and successfully expanding their brand from America into …America…