Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White, much like he did in China, will be opening a Performance Institute in Africa, giving up-and-coming mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters access to state-of-the-art training facilities.
“We always believed that this thing would be big globally, that we could create talent from all over the world,” White told Bro Bible (transcribed by Derek Hall). “You know what makes sense? Africa is finally catching up and coming in. I’m going to build a PI over there.”
Current UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou had dreams of becoming the next big combat sports superstar, but the resources available in Cameroon were scarce and “The Predator” was forced to relocate to Paris, France and eventually Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Anytime you find a place where people grow up in hard times, you’re going to find talented, incredible, not just fighters but athletes of all kinds,” White continued. “The question is what resources do they have to create and learn, and things like that. I’m going to build a PI over there, and let me tell you what, you’re going to see some bad dudes coming out of Africa over the next five, six years.”
Like these guys.
Depending on how some of the divisions shake out, the promotion could make its first trip to Africa with Ngannou, UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, and UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya all competing on the same card.
White expects to debut in Africa by 2022.