White talks Philippines TUF, possible international grand prix

May 31, 2011

MMA Junkie reports that Dana White reaffirmed the fact that the Philippines will be the location for the first international The Ultimate Fighter. Its unlikely that Spike TV would air the international TUF, but White intimated that the shows could be shown online.

White stated that the UFC was “not quite there” in delivering an international version of the reality series. He also hit on a broader plan for international expansion. A plan may be in the works for an international grand prix.

Via MMA Junkie:

White is a huge fan of the grand prix tournaments of the now-defunct PRIDE, which the UFC purchased in 2007, and he’s taken quite a liking to soccer since the 2010 FIFA World Cup, even going so far as to issue a joking ban to the vuvuzelas that filled South African arenas to the annoyance of many.

An international “TUF” tournament could not only crown the best up-and-comer from beyond U.S. borders, but perhaps heighten interest from fans that want to cheer on their respective countries.

No date has been set for the Philippines TUF. The UFC originally planned an event in the Philippines after visits from Chuck Liddell and Brandon Vera. Most recently GSP visited the Philippines and each time a UFC star has visited, they have been met by massive crowds.

Payout Perspective:

An international TUF would not only facilitate the global expansion of the UFC but possibly revitalize the reality series franchise. After suffering from disappointing ratings even with its top PPV draw starring, there seems to be a need to retool the series. White offers up a potential twist to the TUF franchise. An MMA World Cup could be a unique twist to the reality series that could garner support from MMA fans all over the world. The obvious hurdle would be finding a place for the show. Perhaps UFC.tv could carry the series?  TUF US vs. UK series did well in the ratings and having fighters representing their countries may be the twist the series needs to regain its footing.

2 Responses to “White talks Philippines TUF, possible international grand prix”

  1. monmon on June 1st, 2011 11:31 PM

    im from the PHilippines…and its true that ufc is huge over here..but the real reason why the UFC hasnt held an event here is because of the exchange rate 1 dollar to 43 pesos…in short zuffa will earn little when they put an event here and thats the real reason…so putting this TUF in abs cbn is just a “consolation” thing…
    also not to put down the hype…every foreign act that comes here are big…WWE did around 7 events here already all packed…because majority of shows here on cable are u.s. shows ….so we get to watch the UFC live here for free!!! we get WWE 3 x a week..nba finals live…boxing for free as well…
    i think the TUF would have a hard time making theyre show work here..because guys who fight professional here whether its boxing or mma are people who are uneducated…and use different dialects…so there would be language barriers

    they did a contender here(boxing being the number 2 sport here aside from basketball) and it failed because of that…

  2. Jason Cruz on June 2nd, 2011 10:14 PM

    Great perspective monmon. I wonder if the thought of world grand prix tournament is meant to compensate for the issues you refer to.

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