Looking to build momentum and fan support for its expansion into Europe and beyond, the UFC recently inked two foreign fighters to multi-fight contracts.
German welterweight prospect Dennis Siver (10-3) and British lightweight David Lee (5-2) will soon fight in the Octagon, according to recent reports.
Both fighters are expected to make their debuts in April, which is the same month UFC 70 is tentatively scheduled to take place in Manchester, England.
This is no coincidence.
Here's a snip from MMAWeekly.com on Siver:
The UFC have signed German welterweight prospect Dennis Siver to a three-fight contract. The Cage Warriors veteran is expected to make his octagon debut in April. His opponent has yet to be determined.
An accurate striker, Siver is known for his powerful kicks and comes from a background in Judo, wrestling and kickboxing. The OC Fight Team fighter was the runner up in the Cage Warriors welterweight tournament.
And here's a snip from FightNetwork.com on Lee:
UK Lightweight Dave LeeÃ‚Â today confirmed that he's signed to fight on the April UFC show in Manchester, England. A fighter who favors the ground game, all of his fights - both wins and losses- have ended in submission. Lee made his UFC debut last September against Tyson Griffin (8-0) at UFC 63, losing in under two minutes to a rear-naked choke.
Neither of these imports will make instant impacts on their respective divisions.
However, these acquisitions signal a significant move on the part of Zuffa to attract fighters from around the world to appeal to a fan base much larger than the one here in North America.
Without a doubt, expect moreÃ‚Â signings similar to these in the near future.