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Tag: Garry Cook

UFC Looks to Make Poland Debut Next October as Part of 2014 ‘European Tour’

(“What were you saying about a solar-powered flashlight, YOU SON OF A BITCH??” / Pudz-Sapp photo via Sherdog)

Long dominated by embarrassing freak show fights involving beefed-up circus strongmen, the Polish MMA scene could use an injection of legitimacy. Luckily, the UFC is looking to hold its first event there next October in the city of Lodz, according to an MMAJunkie report citing UFC executive vice president Garry Cook. A date and venue have not yet been confirmed.

The Poland event will be part of the UFC’s 2014 “European Tour,” in which Ireland, Sweden, Germany, and even Turkey will host smaller-scale events focusing on local talent. As Junkie explains:

The tour is expected to include a half-dozen European cities and will have a unique look and feel, compared to other UFC shows. Additionally, the start times won’t be geared toward North American audiences (in other words, expect late-morning/early-afternoon broadcast times in the U.S. and Canada), and local fighters will be signed to help fill out the regional cards.


Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano Was Reportedly Too Hardcore for the Swedes

(She’s a witch! Burn her! BURRRRRRN HERRRRRRRRRRR!!! / Photo via Fight! Magazine)

So here’s a weird little tidbit: The UFC’s next women’s bantamweight fight between Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano was originally supposed to serve as the co-main event for UFC on Fuel TV: Gustafsson vs. Mousasi (April 6th; Stockholm, Sweden), but it was reportedly sunk due to political concerns, and the matchup was moved to the TUF 17 Finale. After Ariel Helwani first mentioned the date-switch, Fighters Only followed up with more details:

The fight was pulled because it was felt by Garry Cook, the UFC VP in charge of UK and European operations, that it wasn’t suited to the Swedish audience.

Sweden is a new market and there is still some considerable opposition to the UFC among that infamously liberal and ‘progressive’ nation’s press. Politically it is a very left-wing country and it was only in 2007 that a 1970 ban on professional boxing was lifted.

Alexander Gustafsson has spearheaded the charge into what has proven to be an unexpectedly lucrative market for the UFC, but the potential for the national press to dislike or misinterpret a women’s fight was felt to be too high to risk.