(Props: Smoogy on this epic UG thread.)
Just as Pop Idol spawned American Idol, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? launched Oh, lucky man!, the UFC wants to turn its Ultimate Fighter property into a global franchise. As Dana White told MMA Junkie following UFC 105, international versions of TUF will begin production in seven or eight countries early next year:
"My job is over the next 10 years, the same game of soccer that we play in the U.S. is the same game they play in Canada, Mexico, Spain Italy, France, etc., and that’s what we’re doing with mixed martial arts right now," White said. "Everywhere you go all over the world, it’s the same sport, and everybody plays by the same rules. We’re trying to get these television deals in all these countries, major TV deals exposing the fans to it, then you bring a live event to those places. Then the virus spreads
and people start training at it, trying to make a living at it, eventually becoming professional athletes. That’s what we’re going to do over the next 10 years.
"How do we plug this whole thing in with television and how to watch it everywhere? We’re trying to figure that whole thing out and build that now. But the groundwork for this thing is ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ and we’ve been working it very hard, and we’re making it happen. ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ is going to be all over the world. That’s the goal."
That’s probably the smartest idea we’ve heard yet in terms of spreading UFC awareness around the world. Still, the grand-prize for all these spinoff-shows can’t be six-figure contracts with the UFC, right? I mean, just because Tomaj Abdolsamadei rolls through the first season of Most Glorious Fighter Praise Allah, it doesn’t mean we’ll have to see him on UFC Fight Night shows, one would hope.
Dana White wasn’t just excited about brand expansion after Saturday’s event. He was also pretty psyched about the technology that will help deliver it, particularly an invention that we’ll henceforth refer to as "The Big [Expletive] Screen":
"I’m not the brightest bulb on the [expletive] porch, but I think that all television – I don’t know what it was in your country or your home state, but I had channel 3, channel 5, channel 8 and channel 13 when I was growing up," White said. "I never dreamed there would be a day where there would be hundreds, maybe thousands of channels to watch. And the world is becoming smaller and smaller every day. I believe that there’s just going to be a screen. I’m not saying a TV, and I’m not saying a computer. But there’s going to be a screen, and there’s going to be a lot of different [expletive] that you can do with this screen, and it’s going to be global."
Sounds awesome, Dana. And yet 80% of the population will only use this thing for porn…
Related: According to the Telegraph, the UFC is considering Georges St. Pierre and Dan Hardy as coaches for the next season of The Ultimate Fighter. We don’t want to see GSP’s layoff drag on any further than it already has, but desperate times (Dan Hardy is the #1 welterweight contender?!?) call for desperate measures (this, apparently).