UFC Fight Night 34 might not be lighting up the forums in the United States, but it's doing pretty big business at the overseas box office.
"Saffiedine vs. Lim," the first mixed martial arts (MMA) event to be streamed exclusively on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) "Fight Pass" digital network (details), is close to selling out the the 6,000-capacity arena at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
And that success could lead to seven more events in Asia before the year is out, according to UFC Asia Managing Director Mark Fischer (via Yahoo Sports):
"We're looking at doing it on an annual basis. Singapore is a great hub in terms of economics and tourism, plus we're headquartered here now, so it makes sense to do at least one a year. We're looking at five, six shows with an outside chance of seven [in Asia]. All will be ‘Fight Night' editions featuring top contenders and stars. There are huge populations in these countries, and they all have deep martial arts roots and traditions. They're all catching on to the move towards MMA."
And "they" have had a little help from the local scene.
Before UFC made its recent push into Asia -- which has been on its radar for years -- ONE Fighting Championship has been staging shows in that part of the world with great success. Whether or not there is room for two major MMA promotions in a growing market remains to be seen.
But when in doubt, always bet a horse by its record.