With UFC 163: Aldo vs. Korean Zombie on Saturday night, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has held four events so far in 2013 in Brazil, but that’s only slightly past the halfway mark for what the promotion plans to deliver to the South American country this year and next.
“The plan is to deliver a total of seven this year. So we’ve got two more to deliver after September,” said UFC executive Marshall Zelaznik. “We’re still working on those dates, October, November, December time frame.”
UFC Fight Night 28: Teixeira vs. Bader is the announced event for Sept. 4 at the Mineirinho Arena in Belo Horizonte.
There are follow-up UFC Fight Nights rumored for early October and November, but the dates and venues haven’t yet been solidified. Those two additional events, however, will bring this year’s total number of events in Brazil to seven.
That’s the magic number that the promotion is working for 2014 as well, although they’re finding next year’s waters a little more difficult to navigate.
“We’re looking to bring an equal number of events (seven) in the following year,” Zelaznik continued. “We do have some challenges in 2014. The World Cup is here. There’s an election. So there’s some issues that we have to navigate around. There are some venue issues.
“It’s our intention to try and deliver as many events, but we can’t make any assurances at this point.”
The Brazilian market has quickly developed into an entity of its own after the UFC dipped its toe back into South American water in August of 2011. UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami was the promotion’s first event in Brazil since UFC Ultimate Brazil 13 years prior.
The UFC then held three events in Brazil in 2012, before upping its intentions to seven this year and next. The country has also hosted two iterations of the promotion’s venerable reality series The Ultimate Fighter.