Dana White’s Contender Series coming to Asia in 2020

October 30, 2019

The UFC has announced that it will launch its first ever Dana White’s Contender Series Asia in 2020.  The events will air at the UFC Performance Institute in Shanghai, China.

Hoping to capture the success of Dana White’s Contender Series which has aired the past 3 summers on UFC Fight Pass, the promotion is taking the concept to Asia.  The UFC will utilize the 93,000 square feet building in Shanghai which is nearly three times as large as the PI in Las Vegas.  According to the press release announcing the first-ever Asia Edition, the Shanghai PI “was built with advanced production capabilities with spectator seating that allows UFC to produce and distribute events…”

The show will feature both male and female athletes and all UFC weight classes will be considered for the show.  The release all states that the bout results will count toward athletes’ professional records.  In prior years, such as the fights on The Ultimate Fighter, they were considered exhibitions and not levied against a fighters’ record.

Payout Perspective:

Similar to the Contender Series in the U.S., the programming will build content for Fight Pass and serve as a way to find new athletes to fill their roster.  The obvious belief is that the best of the fighters will receive contracts and fill out shows in Asia and other locales overseas where the UFC will hold events.  We are starting to see the monetization of the Shanghai PI.

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