UFC targets event in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 2015

Angel Valentin

After crossing Mexico and Brazil off its Latin list, UFC looks to continue its expansion courtesy of the "Shining Star."

Aside from dominating the stateside market in mixed martial arts (MMA), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) also has a firm grasp on the European mixed martial arts (MMA) landscape, too.

Then again, it's safe to say the Las Vegas, Nevada-based promotion has cemented its flag on just about every corner of the world.

After pretty much conquering Brazil, UFC will continue its Latin America invasion, as UFC Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs,  Marc Ratner, recently informed UFC.com that the promotion hopes to stage an event in San Juan, Puerto Rico, sometime in 2015.

His words:

"I'm going to Puerto Rico to meet with the athletic commission and some government officials there because we do want to fight there sometime in 2015 (in San Juan). And this will be setting it up. Making sure they use the Unified Rules."

Ratner, the former executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), says Puerto Rico is a natural fit for the promotion given its rich combat sports history.

"It's a big boxing country, no question there. I think it's a natural place for UFC. I think we have to get more fighters there. One of our champions, Anthony Pettis, is from Puerto Rico. So they know about combat sports. Obviously, we need to do more pay-per-view work there and more television work there. But I think if we bring a show there, we'll do great."

Indeed, Latin America has long been a hotbed for combat sports, specifically in the world of boxing.

Mexico, for example, is home to many legendary pugilists such as Julio Cesar Chavez, Marco Antonio Barrera and Juan Manuel Marquez, just to name a few. Former and current champions such as Felix Trinidad and Miguel Cotto, meanwhile, have represented Puerto Rico proudly, winning numerous titles in the sport of boxing.

As UFC gets ready to stage it's first-ever event in Mexico when it presents UFC 180, featuring a heavyweight title fight between champion Cain Velasquez taking on Fabricio Werdum on Nov. 15, 2014, in Mexico, City (see the poster here), the fight promotion hopes to do the same in Puerto Rico.

Company President Dana White, along with Lightweight champion Anthony Pettis and younger brother Sergio Pettis -- who are both of Puerto Rican descent -- visited the island earlier this year to promote the sport and the organization by hosting seminars for aspiring local fighters.

Former Light Heavyweight champion Rashad Evans, however, began his Puerto Rican promotional tour two years prior. And judging by the warm welcome "Suga" received, it seems local fans are very receptive to another combat sport other than boxing.

And it doesn't hurt that a beloved hometown legend such as "Tito" Trinidad supports both the sport and UFC.

To see what the layout could potentially look like at The Coliseo de Puerto Rico click here.

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