clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UFC looks to return to Brazil four times in 2012

That was fast.

In light of the incredible demand for mixed martial arts (MMA) from the Brazilian faithful, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is looking to cash in.

Tickets for this weekend's UFC 134: "Rio" event, which is the first event the promotion has staged in Brazil in more than 12 years, sold out in 74 minutes for the HSBC Arena. The venue is configured to hold 14,000 fans on fight night and Dana White has claimed on multiple occasions that there was demand for more than 300,000.

Talk about playing it safe.

That's likely behind the reason the promotion is now considering holding an event in a 100,000 seat stadium in Manaus. In addition, a more recent report now suggests, we might see not just one, but potentially four events taking place in Brazil next year. 

"We haven't laid the schedule out completely. We think we can come back here maybe four times next year. Maybe it's two big shows, maybe it's a couple or three Fight Night shows showcasing the younger Brazilian talent here. There's so many fighters from Brazil that we want to come down here, be permanent. We don't want to have a situation where we just come in and then we leave for two years. We want to have an ongoing business here."

So what does this mean for the rabid fanbase out of the United Kingdom?

Sure, the country hasn't produced the level of talent that Brazil has, or even a champion in any weight class, but the support out of that country has been phenomenal. Fertitta explained that the issues with the United Kingdom are primarily television related.

"Part of the issue is that we've struggled not with the popularity in the UK. We have a huge fanbase. We do very well with selling tickets there but we've had a hard time getting a television deal that makes sense for us. We've got to move our business around to where it makes the most sense. We're not in any way abandoning them. We're coming back to England in November. We're having multiple dates in Europe next year as well so it's just trying to balance where our supply and demand is."

The demand is certainly high right now in Brazil, but will this draw events away from the United States, the original home of the UFC? Unless the promotion simply decided to add three or more shows in 2012, those extra cards are going to have to be taken away from somewhere.

What will the repercussions of this decision be?

Opinions, please.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania