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UFC Throws Darts at Map, Hits Germany and Philippines

(Maybe the UFC can get this guy out of retirement.)

So, another thing that Dana White said during that conference call yesterday that was otherwise dominated by BJ Penn‘s incredible trash-talk, was that Germany is next on the list of countries that the UFC is looking to expand into, followed by the Philippines and Australia. White also said “we’re starting to focus on doing something in Brazil…because there’s a lot of interesting economical things going on down there right now.”

Doing an event in Brazil has an obvious logic to it, given the history of the sport and the popularity it still enjoys there. But Germany? UFC 83′s incredibly positive reception in Montreal indicated that a popular local champion will get crowds fired up more than anything else — it was the missing element that recent UFC events held in the U.K. lacked, which may be why those cards weren’t nearly as successful. But UFC 75 and 80 were at least filled out with British scrappers who were somewhat recognizable. Off the top of your head, without using Google, how many Germany-based mixed martial artists could you name? I mean, I could probably name a couple guys that are German in the same way that Marcus Davis is Irish, but unless they want to re-brand Mac Danzig as “The Berlin Bad Boy,” it seems like it’ll be a hard sell, both for the local German audience, and the American fans watching at home who have to sit through a card stacked with Jerry Nobodies.

Now, do the same exercise with the Philippines and Australia, and try to come up with any names besides Brandon Vera and George Sotiropoulos (who are both based in the U.S.), and Elvis Sinosic (who doesn’t count). Not too easy, huh?

The UFC’s global-expansion plan sounds like ambition (and maybe a dash of hubris) getting in the way of good business sense. Canada has proven to be the UFC’s most receptive audience outside of the U.S. — why not exploit it further? One successful show in Montreal, and you’re already moving on to the next target? And if you want to talk local champions, stage the Nogueira/Mir fight (or Anderson Silva‘s next mauling) in Rio, and fill the card out with every other UFC fighter named Silva, or Thiago, or Thiago Silva. It would be like Ultimate Brazil: The Next Generation. Why isn’t this higher on the list of priorities than breaking into countries where you have absolutely no foothold?

Cagepotato Comments

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Maik- December 26, 2008 at 7:28 pm
Same here, Im in brisbane...and there is no other person who really likes MMA... =(
JKD- July 6, 2008 at 4:55 pm
Filipinos dont love black people.. Maybe they like the free ticket to the USA.. but seriouslt filipinos are somewhat racist.. not that they think black people are bad people but they honestly say things like they look like monkeys or their skin is burnt.. Filipinos strive to have very white skin.. which sometimes looks silly to me.. From what ive heard from hundreds of filipinos is that they like white guys, and lite skinned hispanic guys. How ever alot of them will marry anyone to come over seas.. thats why you see about 60% of the filipino women in the usa are like 25 years old and their husband is 60 plus.
Til- May 19, 2008 at 6:08 pm
While bringing the UFC to Germany would satisfy my needs (and the needs of maybe a dozen people I know) to see good MMA Events Live (we nearly only got c-class amature events which are full of morons and nazis in eastern germany), I also think it's way to early for the general german people.
tim sylvia's pussy- May 16, 2008 at 8:07 pm
Great! Now i get to watch a bunch of German nobodies fight it out just to please the crowd. This is going to be a sick card!
Alexander- May 16, 2008 at 6:41 pm
Yes I think bringing the Ufc to my country ( Germany ) is way to soon , I dont even know one person that knows anything about the Ufc or fighters, just wait another 5 years..
Le SteAkhaMMer- May 16, 2008 at 5:51 am
Mullet + moustash + white jeans = German
Le StEaKhaMMer- May 16, 2008 at 5:49 am
Ozzy mma fighters are shit, why would anyone want to see a load of tight short wearing cork hatted bruces rolling around after a barbee, get real

Radar sucks abo's dicks.
Mike- May 16, 2008 at 2:02 am
Calgary,Canada (1.2 million) next logical step in my opinon. Massive MMA following here, bars are packed UFC nights, KOTC was founded here, we got gracie BJJ , and MMA gyms all over the place.

Plus we love to fight, drink beer and yell!!
MarleyMarl- May 16, 2008 at 1:35 am
I'm currently living in Brisbane Australia, and I seriously only know 1 other person here who knows/watches mma :<
High Roller- May 16, 2008 at 1:02 am
I'm gonna second Boozer here. Don't get me wrong, I'd absolutely love to see a UFC event in Germany (Frankfurt!). But Germans have no idea what the hell MMA is. I practice both Ju Jutsu and Muay Thai and any time I've mentioned MMA or the UFC to my fellow practitioners all I get is quizzical looks. You would think that these people might at least have some awareness, but it completely isn't there. I mean, if your brand recognition is so bad that *fighters* don't know who you are, you're probably not going to do gangbusters at the gate.
radar- May 15, 2008 at 8:31 pm
I agree with the thoughts on Brasil, but I'd also like to see a UFC or ten here in Sydney.

Kyle Noke, Ian Schaffa, George Sotiropolous, Hector Lombard, Tony Bonello and Brad Morris are all known quantities to an Australian MMA fan (just not necessarily with high success rates overseas), and I'm pretty confident that there'd be heaps of support for any of the current UFC fighters from the U.S or UK who took the trip.
Dota- May 15, 2008 at 8:10 pm
George Sotiropoulos vs the sting ray that killed Steve Irwin to headline UFC:103 REVENGE AT LAST
Gong- May 15, 2008 at 7:13 pm
That's if you're North American. With islanders, paler is better. No kidding.
Rumbler- May 15, 2008 at 6:59 pm
"Filipinos love white people" Really?

Then why do Filipino women always date black dudes?
pookysdabomb- May 15, 2008 at 6:47 pm
Come to Calgary! They could fill the Saddledome
Gong- May 15, 2008 at 6:45 pm
Filipinos love white people. We also like sucking up to anything American. The fact that Vera's already done some publicity stuff this year means that they're off on the right note.

Granted they're not going to find a ton of Flip MMA guys, but like I said -- white people. Marketed properly, anything can sell in the old country. David Pomeranz was doing fucking concerts a year ago that was STILL managing to sell. As long as good ol' Vera headlines the card, national pride should be enough to sway them.
Jeff- May 15, 2008 at 6:39 pm
Agreed with the post and the comment. Germans prefer their entertainment to be a little less pointless and barbaric.

We Americans fuckin' love it though right?
Boozer- May 15, 2008 at 6:32 pm
As an American and an MMA fan who is currently living in Germany, I think that this is a big mistake. If you mention BJJ or MMA or UFC to the typical German, they will look at you with a blank stare. Even worse, I don't think German culture is ready for MMA. This is a very reserved private culture. They are averse to loud ostentatious actions (Kimbo Slice, Rampage Jackson, really any MMA fighter). Germany is a country still recovering from WW2 and its own reunification. Until you have the firm foundation of German MMA fanboys, or at least a receptive audience, introducing MMA to Germany will be a big mistake.