On the heels of breaking into another new country and the ratings success of The Ultimate Fighter‘s first international version, UFC President Dana White is open to launching regional titles for the promotion. “The bottom line is as we start kicking off all these ‘Ultimate Fighters’ in other countries, it’s going to open up the floodgates for a lot more fighters, and guys are going to need a lot more experience,” MMA Junkie reports White as saying after Saturday’s event in Sweden.
“We talked about [regional champions],” he continued. “We talked about rankings — just like boxing, guys ranked in other countries. So you end up being ranked. I don’t know. You have UFC champions, and then you have guys that are ranked in different countries. It absolutely makes sense. In the big picture, long-term, it absolutely makes perfect sense.”
White said that there are markets that are “starved” for the UFC product and that he still intends to reach India and China. The plans may be embryonic at this stage, however, as White admits that creating the infrastructure for continued international expansion is challenging.
“We’ve talked about doing two shows at the same time. We’ve talked about doing a lot of stuff. But one of the things you guys have got to understand, the hardest part is the infrastructure,” White explained. “It’s creating all this new talent, and it’s not just fighters. It’s commentators. It’s [ring announcer Bruce] Buffer‘s position. Cameramen. All the things that go along with putting on the event that we put on. It’s a lot of work.”
What do you think of regional titles, nation? And what countries do you want to see the UFC head to next?