While Dana White has been consistently talking big about gonzo places like China and India, he hasn’t given much lip service to a show in Brazil, the birthplace of vale tudo which sprung MMA from it’s loins. Last year Zuffa execs said they were more interested in Euro expansion (which has kinda stalled out, have you noticed?), but now there is a glimmer of hope that South America might finally get a UFC event. Here’s a RedeTV exec talking about it:
Canal Combate’s contract with the UFC ends in 2011. Do you really want to get this contract for yourselves?
Not quite. This makes it sound like RedeTV! is the enemy of others. It isn’t. We want to broadcast something, something that goes beyond our current deal [21 days after the event takes place]…
And RedeTV! will be partnering with the UFC to bring fights to Brazil?
Also not so. People exaggerate, saying RedeTV! will bring (the UFC to Brazil) and things like this. We’re a partner of the UFC and we’re going to give them full support so they come here. In fact, they’ll be here in 2011. That’s for sure. There are some details missing, like where it will take place and whatnot. Now they view us as a market.
Brazil is also getting some love in the form of next week’s UFC 117, which is being marketed down there as ‘Brazil vs America.’ All the main card fighters are indeed Brazilians versus Americans, with the exception of Matt Hughes vs Ricardo Almeida, who was born in the US but still gets a pass without dropping into Marcus Davis Plastic Paddy territory.