When the UFC headed back to Brazil in 2011, they new it would be a big move, but even company officials have been blown away by just how big.
The UFC is currently drawing as many as 30 to 40 million viewers for some of its programming in Brazil, as noted by the UFC’s Marshall Zelaznik at Thursday’s UFC 153 pre-fight press conference. As he put it, those numbers are “staggering” when you consider a big number in the United States is three, four, or five million.
On the strength of such Brazilian interest, the UFC has returned to Rio de Janeiro three times in just 14 months with no slowing in ticket sales.
The UFC was intending to do a stadium show over the summer in Brazil with the rematch between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen. Several different elements, however, came together to force a move of that fight to the U.S. and the move of the Brazilian event to an arena.
Zelaznik on Thursday confirmed that the UFC is still committed to a stadium show in Brazil and is actively working towards one in 2013.
“We’re confident if we held an event in any stadium in Brazil, it would be a success,” said Zelaznik.
“We’ve got some work to do,” he added, but indicated that they are targeting the third or fourth quarter of 2013 to make another run at a stadium event in Brazil.
“I think there’s a real appetite here. I just think it’s a real fever here in Brazil.”
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