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Tag: international expansion

Watching Royston Wee Will Set You Back $10, and Other Info About the UFC’s New Digital Network


(Subtlety was never the UFC’s strong suit…)

Remember that subscription-based, digital UFC network we talked about a couple weeks ago? You know, the one that promised cards full of unfit for television jobbers like Royston Wee?

Well, the UFC officially announced the price point: Access to the “UFC Fight Pass” will cost $9.99 a month.

What exactly does the monthly fee get you?

Access to international fight cards like UFC Fight Night 34, the UFC’s MMA fight library which includes fights from Pride, Strikeforce, and the WEC, as well as the UFC’s TV show archives (TUF, UFC Unleashed, etc.). Subscribers also get access to any original content the UFC is willing to put on the network, such as interviews, features, and whatever else.

It seems Alexander Hamilton carries a bit of respect at Zuffa, though initially the entire video library won’t be available. Marshall Zelaznik, the UFC’s Chief Content Officer, elaborated on this during the MMA Hour:

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Five Obvious but Overlooked Things Fans Need to Remember About the UFC


(Just keep repeating to yourself, “Nobody’s making me watch this…nobody’s making me watch this…nobody’s making me watch this…”)

By Matt Saccaro

The UFC has come under fire lately for several reasons: Declining numbers, oversaturation, the fading of their stars, launching a digital network with a questionable premise, not hiring Ben Askren and so on. When we fling insults at the UFC, we need to remember a few things about the company in order to put these negative occurrences and circumstances into perspective. Let’s start with the most obvious but frequently-ignored point:

1. The UFC is a business.

The purpose of the UFC is to make its owners money. The UFC does not exist to feed fighters’ families. There’s not much else to say on this front. Companies have to make money to be viable. Yeah, it sucks that some guys get paid an absurdly small amount of money for what they do, and it sucks that the UFC is upping the PPV price.

That’s just something we have to deal with though. If you don’t like it, vote with your dollar. If enough people tune out, Zuffa’s wallet will know and they’ll either change their tune accordingly or lose money.

2. The UFC is an international company.

There’s been talk about the UFC hiring unfit-for-television jobbers lately. It’s true but necessary. The UFC is headed to distant lands where MMA is in its most nascent stages. The talent pool in these places is more like a mud puddle. The UFC has to work with what it’s given in China and Singapore. Deepening foreign talent pools can only happen by growing the sport overseas, and growing the sport overseas can only happen when they have foreign (foreign to us, home grown to them) fighters on the card. And since there aren’t many great foreign fighters, the UFC has to scrape the bottom of a very empty barrel. This results in fighters getting a place in the “Super Bowl of MMA” who shouldn’t even be in the bleachers, let alone on the field.

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You Can Calm Down, The UFC Is Not Holding 54 Events Next Year


(Subtle.)

By Matt Saccaro

Earlier today, Ariel Helwani tweeted that there was going to be 54 UFC events in 2014, or at least that was the plan.

But there won’t be as many as 54 events, and it’s possible that many of the extra events won’t even be on television. Lorenzo Fertitta elucidated the UFC’s plans for 2014 in an interview with Ariel Helwani. Predictably, the UFC is focusing on international growth in 2014.

“We are looking at expanding our Fight Night product,” said Fertitta. “We have the bottom tier, we have the Ultimate Fighter which we’re taking around the world now. We have obviously the series on FOX Sports 1. We just got done filming The Ultimate Fighter: China which will air in January in China. We’ve got The Ultimate Fighter: Canada and Australia in production right now. We’re in pre-production for series in other various countries around the world. That’s our base,” he said. But TUF is only one piece of the global MMA puzzle. The more important piece, at least according to Fertitta, are the mid-level Fight Night cards.

“In the middle of the pyramid we have our UFC Fight Night brand,” he said. “We’re gonna take that Fight Night product and expand it into Europe and into Asia next year…We’re gonna add fights in those regions so when you add them on to the 33 we’d do this year, it gets into that 40-ish type number.”

Regarding the highly controversial number of 54, Fertitta claimed that he misspoke. He also teased about where the events would be televised (if anywhere).

“Is that what I said? 54? It won’t be quite that. I think I misspoke. It’ll be in the 40′s. Right now, we’ll have some news coming up on where they’re gonna air. I think we’re gonna have some ground-breaking ideas as far as where that’s gonna be available.”

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The UFC’s International Plans for 2014 Include Events In Ireland, Scotland…Turkey?


(Literally every street corner in Istanbul, sans heroin.) 

Want to know how I know that none of the other MMA sites who reported on this morning’s UFC/EA Gamescom presentation actually watched a second of it? Because not one of them noted that the presentation began with Bruce Buffer introducing Head of EA Sports, Andrew Wilson, and Executive Vice President and Managing Director of UFC Europe, Garry Cook, via A GOLDEN MICROPHONE, the glossy reflection of which would have burned a hole in Thor’s retina had the albino shut-ins who go to these things allowed even a crack of sunlight into the building. And behind Buffer on the jumbotron during his epic introduction? You best believe it was a giant photo of himself in action — his eyes more piercing as the night, his suit classier than your Grandfather’s high school portrait. A visual echo, if you will.

Anyway, it was at this presentation that Cook announced the UFC’s international plans for 2014. Although he got off to a rough start when he said that mixed martial arts integrates such “popular Olympic sports as wrestling,” Cook quickly recovered by reciting some diversity stats like he was MMA Supercomputer Bjorn Rebney before laying out the UFC’s goals for 2014:

We have athletes representing 37 countries. We broadcast our events in 28 languages. And we’ve established major broadcasting partnerships in 145 countries around the world.

And in 2014, you’ll see more live events. England, Sweden, Poland, Ireland, Turkey, and most importantly, we will be back in Germany in 2014. 

Cook conveniently neglected to mention Scotland, which also was highlighted on the jumbotron, as among the UFC’s scheduled trips in the coming year. Man, those British sure can carry a grudge.

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UFC to Travel to Sweden April 14


(Hopefully they leave their vuvuzelas at home)

The UFC announced today that it’s international expansion plans for 2012 include a move into Scandanavia — namely Sweden, where the promotion will hold an event April 14.

Slated for the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, the event will undoubtedly feature Swedish breakout star Alexander Gustafsson who handed Vladimir Matyushenko a first round TKO last Friday night at UFC 141. Depending on how Reza Madadi does against Fabricio Camoes at UFC on FX 1 on January 20, Gustafsson may only be joined on the card by Papi Abedi and a handful of his fellow countrymen who are brought in for the prelims to add some local flavor.

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