by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
With the season 12 debut of the “Ultimate Fighter” just a couple of weeks away, the UFC is mapping out the future of the reality show that will include an international flavor and a WEC version of the show coming soon. White also confirmed the flyweight division in the WEC, in a move that could be completed before the end of the 2010 calendar year.
UFC president Dana White discussed the upcoming plans for the “Ultimate Fighter” and the WEC during the UFC Fan Expo in Boston.
A fan asked White if the talk about a possible version of the show with WEC fighters was just a rumor and the UFC president answered “nope.”
The WEC has long been rumored to get a version of the “Ultimate Fighter” tailor made for the smaller weight classes currently running in the promotion, and it looks like another division will be added soon, possibly in 2010.
The 125lb flyweight division has been talked about for over 12 months now, but the reality seems to be very close, and White believes it’s just the first step.
“As we continue to do more fights, continue to travel around, we need more weight divisions,” White said. “So we’re going to be adding weight divisions and getting those lighter weights in there.”
When asked about the flyweights debuting in the WEC before the end of the year, White simply said, “You could be right.”
The traveling show for the “Ultimate Fighter” in other international locations is something the UFC has talked about doing for several months as well, but the appointment of Mark Fischer to head up the promotion’s Asian offices is the big step to get the ball rolling.
White has plans to bring the UFC’s flagship show to countries like China, India, and other locations, and then have everyone come together for one grand finale in the United States.
“What we’re starting to do now is we’re working on ways to get the “Ultimate Fighter” in other countries. We’re going to start getting the “Ultimate Fighter” in each of these different countries, and try to figure out, when we have the finales, the finales will be different countries coming together and everybody fights,” White confirmed.
“Once we get this rolling and we get the “Ultimate Fighter” in all these different countries, technology is our friend, there’s more ways to watch this stuff. So people will be able to watch the “Ultimate Fighter” from these different countries too, online or however, but that’s our long term goal.”
With UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and top contender Josh Koscheck leading the charge for the 12th season of the reality show, and big plans for a WEC version as well as the international appeal, the “Ultimate Fighter” looks to continue to mount a successful run on television and now an online appeal as well.