UFC Euro Fight Night series coming

The UFC’s plans for international expansion continue to be

molded into shape as

target="_blank">UFC’s executive vice president in charge of the

European, Middle Eastern and African regions Garry Cook laid

out a plan designed to grow the market and eventually stage events

that would be specifically produced for local markets. In other

words, not designed for U.S. audiences.

The plan would be to create a UFC Fight Night series with a

minimum of six events in 2014, and the objective would be to give

the UFC’s European broadcast partners primetime programming and

create regional stars.

Presently, most UFC events that are broadcast live from North

America air from 3-6 am in the U.K. The proposed European Fight

Night event series wouldn’t require such time sacrifices, and would

air at a more standard time for sporting events in primetime. Cook

said the Fight Night shows could possibly air on Friday or Saturday

nights.

For 2014, London has already been targeted for kicking off the

series in the spring, while Istanbul was also mentioned as a likely

landing spot. Other cities including Dublin, Lodz, Glasgow and

Berlin are also frontrunners for events.

The hope is that contenders rise in the areas that host shows

and begin to open up and develop markets.

“I think there’s got to be a little bit more purpose in our

European events,” he said. “You have to be fighting for a reason,

for something, and that’s important. We can’t have a tournament, as

you well know. It’s very difficult to do that, but we do see the

opportunity to create more European champions.”

Cook said he believed it would not be long until the UFC was

doing 12 to 16 events per year in the region.