As the UFC looks to continue expanding internationally, the promotion introduces yet another country to the long running “Ultimate Fighter” series. The third international expansion of The Ultimate Fighter is set to make its way to India in 2013 and with another season for Brazil planned it does not look like the UFC will be slowing down anytime soon. Currently, the Uk and Australia are battling it out right now, as well as the original TUF U.S.
The UFC is intelligently targeting highly populated areas such as China with the upcoming Macao card and India (the second largest population in the world), and Brazil with the TUF search of new talent. The question is who will coach TUF India? There truly are no discernible names that come to mind when one thinks of MMA fighter from India. Coaches battling it out in the octagon at the end of the show has been a staple format for the UFC. The UFC is expected to release the full roster in the coming months.
“We are very excited to partner with SIX as the UFC expands into India,” UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta stated. “We look forward to working with them to not only further expand the UFC’s fanbase [in India] but also to find and develop local talent and, ultimately, bring regular live events to India.”
“We are delighted to bring the UFC – the fastest growing sports organization in the world – to India,” Man Jit Singh, the CEO of SIX’s parent company Multi Screen Media, stated. “India has a lot of appetite for new sports, and we are confident that SIX will skew younger audiences with the special programming of the Ultimate fighting Championship on the channel.”
The tying up of champions as coaches on the show now and days seems to be out of the question. One suggestion would be to use the Ultimate Fighter as a way to give ex MMA fighters a career after MMA. It would be nice to give fighters like Mark Coleman, Dan Severn, Royce Gracie, Don Frye, or even Ken Shamrock given a chance to coach these fighters?
All of those names are legends in the sport, that have much experience, and a plethora of knowledge to pass down. Those are the fighters that people watched growing up that want to be fighters now. It would be perfect to have them be ambassadors of the sport. There are only so many executive level jobs the UFC can give to ex fighters. The only problem with this suggestion is that the UFC needs to market currently active fighters; even in coaching roles. The UFC is a ‘pay-per-view company’, meaning that the promotions television purchases are what keep them afloat. The buys are directly correlated to the events featured fighters, whom the fans must be interested in. TUF has proven to be the organizations best method of introducing the fans to the fighters, in turn making the fan more inclined to purchase an event.
“The UFC will be successful in India even without local stars, but what we’ve seen around the world is fans really want to see one of their own get a chance to compete at the highest level. Somewhere out there in a country of 1.2 billion there is an Indian champion, someone who will capture the imagination of the fans and help take the sport to a whole new level.”