UFC 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.