Ahead of this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 30 event in Manchester, England, UFC Executive Gary Cook has been spelling out the promotion’s plan to deliver more European events in 2014.
According to Cook he’s spear-headed a plan to bring at least six ‘Fight Night’ style events to Europe next year.
Cook hopes this can help grow the sport in Europe as all these events will air during primetime there, as opposed to the wee hours of the morning (usually 2-3am in the UK for example) which is generally the case for fans in this part of the world due to the time difference compared to the U.S.
From the sounds of things these events will be largely based around European fighters too, with Cook even suggesting that it’s possible that European champions could be crowned in order to further enhance the appeal of these shows.
While this is good news for European MMA fans, it does mean that in North America for example, there’s some uncertainty over how, where and when these shows will be broadcast.
Cook indicates that these events are being targeted specifically to their local markets and as such it’s not set in stone that they will air in the U.S. These events will essentially be up for grabs, with any network (not just FOX) able to bid for the right to air them either live or on a tape-delay basis.
Of course that system leaves open the possibility that no-one acquiries the right to air these Euro events live which would be a big blow for hardcore fans living outside of Europe.
The European series will start in London within the first two weeks of March, and while no other destinations have been confirmed yet, Turkey is a new market that’s believed to have been earmarked for an event around September time.
Scotland, Germany, Poland and Ireland are also believed to be under consideration too.
Watch Cook’s full media interview below courtesy of Whoa! TV.