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Dana White Says 100 UFC Shows Per Year is a Possibility

In an interview with MMAJunkie this week, UFC president Dana White said that with the way his company has grown in the past nine years since it bought the struggling promotion from SEG, it’s foreseeable that fans could one day be treated to nearly two shows per week broadcast from around the globe.

"This is is a work in progress. We bought this company, and we were doing five fights a year. If you would have told me six or seven years ago that we’d be doing 34 fights a year, I would have said, ‘That’s impossible. It’ll never happen. That’s crazy.’ We’re probably going to end up doing 100 fights a year."

White also revealed that the promotion, which on Tuesday announced it will open a Canadian office in Toronto in the coming months, will likely set up another satellite location in China that will act as a hub to the Asian market.

"Right now, what we’ve used to go into Europe and even Australia is our U.K. office. But we’re looking right now – and here I go jumping ahead of myself and saying stuff before we do it – but we’re going to open an office in China.The hardest part in launching this sport and launching the UFC was getting the U.S. done," White said. "We’ve got everybody done now except for New York, and we’re on the budget in June. The rest of the world – in Asia, Asia understands martial arts. They’ve been practicing martial arts for thousands of years. It’s going to be a lot easier."

Interestingly, Zuffa is opting to plant roots in China rather than Japan where it temporarily ran a PRIDE office after purchasing the now defunct MMA organization. Maybe the fact that the Yakuza control a large portion of business dealings in the country and allegedly have ties to some Japanese fight promotions had something to do with the choice of locale for the office.

Regardless of the reasoning, White says that the company is moving full-steam ahead with its plans for global domination and that China is close to being a done deal.

"We’re there now," White said. "Lorenzo has been in China for the last 10 days, and we’re going to make it happen. The Ultimate Fighter is what really kicks it off, and you build stars in all these different regions. We’re working right now on ‘The Ultimate Fighter Middle East’ and ‘The Ultimate Fighter Canada’ that will be first. Then either before one of those or right at the same time will be ‘The Ultimate Fighter China.’"

According to White, after China his next target is Asia’s second most populous country: India.

"In India, there’s 300 million males aged 18-24," White said. "That’s more people than are actually in the U.S. We could have a show [in the U.S.] on Saturday night and five more going on in five other countries. That’s what’s going to eventually happen. It’s figuring this thing out, putting the pieces together, and like I said, it’s a work in progress. But I’m telling you guys, I said it years ago, and I’ve been saying it – how big this thing is going to be. I think people are now really starting to realize how big this thing is really going to be."

At Tuesday’s press conference at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, White said that one goal they are also quietly trying to achieve is the institution of a universally recognized ruleset.

"You look at the game of soccer. No matter where it’s played — in Canada, the US, the UK, Japan — the rules are the same around the world. That’s where we’re looking to go with this thing."

Cagepotato Comments

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knucklesamitch- May 28, 2010 at 11:57 am
Am I the only one that thinks when he says "We could do 100 shows a year" he's referring to the UFC as a brand only...As in, he's willing to set up global offices and to a certain extent, "License" the UFC brand in this other countries? I think it's a misinterpretation to think that you'll ever see anything on TV or PPV from the weekly edition of UFC: Bum Fuck Egypt. To you and I, nothing will change...but the "UFC" will be putting on 100 shows per year across the globe and the Fertittas and DW will be richer than fuck (even more than they probably are now). Honestly, I don't believe this comment means anything to me as a current viewer of all things UFC.
Socal Tot- May 28, 2010 at 11:14 am
I was thinking that the UFC could have an MMA channel similar to the Playboy channel. You pay a subscripion, and you get to watch a lot of fights, and other fighting related shows.

superflat- May 28, 2010 at 8:41 am
It won't be a watered down product, as some are saying. The opposite, in fact. The UFC won't be running more shows with fewer fighters, they'll be recruiting significantly more fighters to run a few more shows.

That said, I wonder how much talent exists in India and China -- they've never shown anything when it comes to combat sports.
Angry Whopper- May 28, 2010 at 8:31 am
Curry depot! Bwahahahahaha! Nice one.
failingev0lution- May 28, 2010 at 7:31 am
India? I thought Dana was supposed t o be business savvy? 86% of the population lives under $2 per day in India, and the mean ANNUAL household income: $735. Pretty sure that's not a target market worth pursuing.
The Mad Montrealer- May 28, 2010 at 6:29 am
I think if this is the case, it will be a problem. As is, and as a hardcore fan who hasn't missed an event since I started paying attention with UFC3, I can't see myself paying to watch any more events. A lot of times we end up going to bars to watch, but it ends up costing just as much with drinks/food. If I have to start missing events, and I think a lot of people will feel this way, our interest will start to dwindle and we'll likely end up watching far fewer events than we currently do.

Another issue is, we're getting a lot of watered down cards these days, if they're thinking of putting on more than double the amount of events they currently are, that means watching more shitty TUF caliber fights that no one is interested in.

Back in the day, each UFC was a special event and it felt that way because most cards were pretty compelling, and you had to wait a while between them. Now, we're over saturated with mma events in large part involving uninteresting fighters.
Durden- May 28, 2010 at 3:59 am
So now we'll see new sponsors like Curry Depot and so forth?
Ron Dobbs- May 27, 2010 at 6:51 pm
I haven't been counting, but I think there are already a lot more than 100 mma shows a year. Most of them don't have 10yr old footage of a gladiator picking up sand and Bruce mispronouncing guys names while jump-pointing at them, but they still promote dudes fighting each other. You should check it out.
Ramshank- May 27, 2010 at 6:47 pm
Could be huge like my dick ?
Ron Dobbs- May 27, 2010 at 6:47 pm

....from Bangladesh, Ashish "ctrl+alt+KO" Patel!!!

ccman- May 27, 2010 at 6:43 pm
A. i think 100 shows is possible but would be very watered down product for a long time.
B. so Dana, you think the triads will be any easier to deal with than the Yakuza? how about the govt. who will want to control all media coming out of your events?
Angry Whopper- May 27, 2010 at 6:29 pm
could be huge
Cro mag- May 27, 2010 at 6:28 pm
You hit it right on the head dude.
justscrappin- May 27, 2010 at 5:54 pm
Nice cecil...." what is your profession Sparta......WHOOOOOOOFFFF!"
cecils_pupils- May 27, 2010 at 5:52 pm
100? I want 300!! THIS... IS... SPARTA...!!!
justscrappin- May 27, 2010 at 5:51 pm
I remember watching like the first Zuffa Ufc's...what was the first one like 22 or something? He had a little hair...and looked so f'n uncomfortable in front of the camera. Now he comes out with balls in hand....spits on the floor....and tells everyone he is planning global domination all the while motherfucking his competition, and making beatles like claims that the UFC is bigger then Jesus. He will then make ridiculously adamant comments that he will most likely contradict at a later date when financial gains make the original comment unbusiness savy. i.e. Rampage is a retard for doing a movie....then 5 months later..that is one smart negro. The birth of the antichrist ladies and gentlemen.
Savageleto- May 27, 2010 at 5:42 pm
If they get it on TV non PPV's- then a 100 a year should be no problem.

Toss 1 ppv per month - and with that many fights per week, they would probably double the gross of what 4 ppv's combined currently produce.

There is no way even I could afford (to explain to my wife who is also a fan) that we are going to drop what we currently spend a year on UFC fights-- is what we are going to have to spend per month on UFC's... I like sex too much.

I do think that MMA is going to be the biggest sport on the planet- But in order for it to be so.. it cannot charge 50 bucks per event and hold 100 events a year... It has to have exposure first.

I state this that my Father ---who is a psychologist with a major in teaching- kinda abhors fighting on principal ie boxing (which is filthy from top to bottom)... but recently I got him to have a MMA fight night with me, and I could see that he really enjoyed the experience and would most certainly do it again and again--- I think he liked the fact of the RESPECT the fighters showed to each other after the fight the most.

Well a guy like him seeing something for free... will encourage him to buy it when it comes down...

The UFC in the future will make more on one PPV per month then they made on 34 ppv's a year total... if they don't get greedy.

Oh yeah.. Dana- Put out a PC port for the UFC game-- don't be a goddamn fool!

We want it!
Bob Reilly- May 27, 2010 at 5:41 pm
@ Swedish: Fedor is already becomming irrelevant!
Elentius- May 27, 2010 at 5:14 pm
Having 2 a week would definitely be great because I imagine them being on Spike or a larger network which basically means that it is free while they make their money from sponsor commercials like other television shows. They would not rely on most of the shows being on PPV.
mattebabel- May 27, 2010 at 5:10 pm
It'd be sweet if the winners/finalists of all the global TUF series fought in an international grand prix... sure a majority (if not all of them) would be no-name jobbers, but it'd still be an interesting concept
T_Durden- May 27, 2010 at 4:49 pm
Dana....Market Over Saturation. As supply increases, demand more money to produce more events, but less profitability for each event planned.

There's a ton of room to grow, but where do you draw the line between reaching full potential and risking the perceived watering down of your talent pool, and going into 'Starbucks mode'?

I usually side with Dana...but someone better check homeboy's hubris. It's getting a little out of control.
Swedish- May 27, 2010 at 4:40 pm
I think StrikeShit is in trouble. Fedor will be in the UFC soon enough. That or become totally irrelevant.
Joedirt- May 27, 2010 at 4:22 pm
VisitingDeadAnc... if it can be done Dana will do it. I can see it now... exclusively on Directv or something. Programs on individual fighters training for main events, replays, live events, fights from around the world, etc. More events will equal more content, TUF China/Canada/UK...
El Guapo- May 27, 2010 at 4:17 pm
BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Awww, that's good stuff..

Dana will be here all week, folks. And please remember to tip your waitress.
VisitingDeadAncestors- May 27, 2010 at 4:10 pm
Would be amazing to have 1 channel dedicated to ALL the MMA events.