For some time UFC execs have made it clear that it’s their intention to expand their long-running ‘Ultimate Fighter’ series to various destinations around the globe, and according to the UFC’s Manager Of International Development Marshall Zelaznik it could become a reality before the end of the year.
Talks are currently on-going to host an Australia Vs United Kingdom edition of the show, nicknamed ‘The Bashes’ (a play on ‘The Ashes’, a famous cricket series played between the two countries), and Zelaznik says all signs are that it will come to light sooner rather than later.
“I’d like to think that before the end of the year we could be into pre-production. The pieces are certainly coming together,” Zelaznik tells The Sunday Telegraph.
He also reveals that the reason behind the move is down to strong interest in the show from the right people in Australia where the sport is currently enjoying a major surge in popularity following two successful UFC show in hte past couple of years.
“Right now we have three Australian broadcasters interested and a number of blue chips sponsors willing to write cheques. That’s what has us really excited, the fact we have serious backers for a concept that is obviously very expensive to produce.”
If it does go ahead then it’ll be intriguing to see who they serve up as the team coaches. Michael Bisping would have been a natural choice for the UK had it not been for the fact that he’s already just finished wrapping up season 14 of TUF in Las Vegas and is perhaps unlikely to want to head straight back into filming another edition given his title ambitions.
Other logicial choices from the UK contingent would be Dan Hardy or perhaps former TUF winner Ross Pearson, while Australian stars like George Sotiropoulos, also a former TUF competitor, and Brian Ebersole would make the most sense on the other side of the equation.