Brazil has long supported mixed martial arts, but new coach Vitor Belfort believes that when you combine fighting with the Brazilian’s love of reality TV, the UFC might be in for a huge hit.
“We’re not even beginning yet. We’re going to do the reality show, Brazil is one of the biggest country in the whole world, and they love reality shows,” Belfort told MMAWeekly Radio. “Big Brother, almost half of the population sees Big Brother every day in Brazil. After the reality show, you guys are going to see what the UFC is going to turn into in Brazil.”
Belfort himself has appeared in a small role on a Brazilian reality show, and is already one of the most well known fighters in his home country.
Now with The Ultimate Fighter about to land in Brazil in just a few short months, Belfort is confident that MMA will take an even larger step forward in his home country, becoming the second biggest sport next to soccer.
“UFC is the only sport that can compete with soccer,” said Belfort. “We can have a UFC every weekend in Brazil. We’re going to be able to teach people and many kids. We’re going to be a sport where the athletes are going to be able to teach good behavior, kids are going to look up to a lot of the athletes. UFC has a lot to offer.”
Over the last several months, UFC president Dana White has said several times that Brazil may soon become the second largest market for the sport, taking over where Canada once stood not long ago. Belfort believes Brazil may one day actually be the biggest.
“Brazil is going to be if not the biggest, it’s going to be one of the biggest markets for sure,” said Belfort.
As for his own coaching stint on the reality show, Belfort doesn’t want to spend much time talking about it right now. Sure, he knows that it’s going to happen as soon as his fight with Anthony Johnson is done at UFC 142, and he’s already got his next bout lined up against Wanderlei Silva, but his focus is only on one thing right now and it’s not the reality show.
“If you worry about today, today will take care of tomorrow. I need to focus on the Anthony Johnson fight, that’s where my focus is right now,” Belfort stated. “After that, my focus will be The Ultimate Fighter, taking care of the fighters, getting the fighters where they need. Then I need to train to fight Wanderlei.”
The Ultimate Fighter Brazil will begin filming later this year and will air in Brazil, as well as on Fuel TV in the United States.