UFC Looks To Double Asian Events In '13; Considering China, Korea, SE Asia
UFC returned to Asia last year with two "well-received live events” in "UFC on Fuel TV 6" in Macau and UFC 144 in Japan, and "if all goes according to plan in 2013, the promotions could double that total,” according to John Morgan of MMAJUNKIE.com. UFC Exec VP & Asia Managing Dir Mark Fischer said, "We're obviously coming back to Japan and we want to come back to Macau, and I think we want to add two more to the schedule and really go from there.” Fischer added, "We're looking at trying to do four this year. We would like to move to maybe five or six next year. ... It's really just a question of putting the resources together and applying that against the demand the best we can." Fischer said of possible fight locations, "Mainland China and Korea are definitely in consideration. In addition, we're looking at several markets in Southeast Asia. For example, without committing, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore are all in contention for where we may go.” He added, “We would be very interested to do 'The Ultimate Fighter: Japan.' We don't have a specific plan yet, but we are in discussion with a number of people.” Morgan notes this weekend's "UFC on FUEL TV 8: Silva vs. Stann" will be the promotion's “first Asian event" this year. Fischer said that the combination of “former PRIDE superstars, up-and-coming Asian talent and recognizable UFC veterans should provide a memorable experience for Japanese MMA fans” (MMAJUNKIE.com, 2/28).
WOMEN'S WORK: ESPN’s Dan Le Batard noted last Saturday’s fight between Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche at UFC 157 drew 400,000 PPV buys. ESPN's Bomani Jones said, “I have a hard time believing that the mainstream is interested in watching women fight in that way. ... I’m just not sure we are advanced enough in this culture as it relates to gender that people will sign up to consistently watch women fight each other in the Octagon.” Le Batard said, “You’re not alone in that skepticism, but I’m not sure they’re trying to get people outside of the sport. What people inside of the sport appreciated, and those pay-per-view numbers reflected, was that was a really good fight. That wasn’t a fight between women. That was two good fighters putting on a good show for a round” (“Dan Le Batard Is Highly Questionable,” ESPN2, 2/26).