Just days after holding a press conference to announce the launch of a new UFC office in Canada, Dana White has revealed that they are also planning to do so in China as well.
“Right now, what we’ve used to go into Europe and even Australia is our U.K. office,” White tells MMAjunkie. “But we’re looking right now – and here I go jumping ahead of myself and saying stuff before we do it – but we’re going to open an office in China.”
It’s not just an idle claim though, White says that plans are already underway to expand the UFC brand into the Asian market.
“Lorenzo has been in China for the last 10 days, and we’re going to make it happen,” he says before going on to elaborate that this will include future live events and a Chinese version of TUF.
With plans to also break further into the Middle East as well White’s move towards making mixed martial arts the biggest sport in the world continues to gather pace.
“This is is a work in progress,” he acknowledges. “We bought this company, and we were doing five fights a year. If you would have told me six or seven years ago that we’d be doing 34 fights a year, I would have said, ‘That’s impossible. It’ll never happen. That’s crazy.’ We’re probably going to end up doing 100 fights a year.”
White’s claims certainly make your head spin. By his reckoning there could be multiple UFC events happening around the globe on any given weekend.
Personally I must admit that I’m not eagerly awaiting the day that idea becomes a reality. I’m all for the UFC and MMA in general moving into new markets, but drastically increasing the number of events their doing as a result of this doesn’t appeal to me.
The MMA calender is hectic as it stands, particularly this year, but it’s still at the point where it’s possible to keep up with and watch all the major events, give or take the rare occasion where two events (such as Strikeforce and the WEC late last year) may occur at the same time.
I’d hate to think we’ll get to the point where we’ll have to choose between a UFC Brazil, USA and UK event all happening on the same night, or worse still be restricted to only the UFC that’s occurring in our particular region.
There’s also a risk that it will dilute the UFC brand. As it stands it’s seen as the top level promotion where the best fighters from all around the globe come to fight, but the amount of fighters your going to need to fuel fights in all these different regions could dilute the quality of the talent considerably.
I believe that the UFC has to consider carefully how they wish to proceed here. Do they want to be the biggest or do they want to be the best? If it’s the former then yes, they’ll most likely need to expand as suggested. If they want to be the best then they may want to stick with a formula of quality over quantity.