As Mayhem Miller might say, big tings agwan for da UFC’s international expansion plans:
Today at an EA press conference in Germany, UFC executive Garry Cook, who’s a vice president and managing director for Europe and other regions, unveiled six countries that will get events next year. They include four that previously hosted shows – England, Sweden, Ireland and Germany – as well as two new stops: Poland and Turkey. Exact dates and other details were not disclosed by Cook, who helped unveil the UFC and EA Sports’ upcoming video-game title, “EA SPORTS UFC,” at today’s Gamescom press conference in Cologne.
Now keep in mind that the UFC has made big promises regarding international expansion before. Not to say they haven’t done a good job of getting their brand out and around the world, but when push comes to shove and the calendar is getting loaded up, big US and Brazil shows tend to take a higher importance than another Germany gig. And where’s that huge UFC show in India, Lorenzo Fertitta??
But there’s a lot here that does signal the UFC being pretty effing serious about these shows. This wasn’t some off the cuff comment from Dana White or Garry Cook pulling a Scott Coker and just sayin’ stuff. This was an official announcement made at a big press event – the kind of thing that implies perhaps that 2014 calendar already has this shit locked in. Is this the point where the UFC lets Garry Cook drive the European expansion wagon to success or failure? The guy has spent enough time navigating the sports market there. It should be interesting to see what he can do.