The UFC may have new ownership, but the organization’s plans for international expansion remain the same.
“[We’re] picking up right where we left off, like we’ve always been, going into new territories,” UFC President Dana White said on the UFC “Unfiltered” podcast.
One target destination for the Las Vegas-based promotion is Russia, and White confirmed that there have been talks to hold an event in the nation with lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov as a centerpiece.
“Khabib has been blowing me up. I haven’t really given Khabib any information, but obviously Khabib in Russia wouldn’t be a bad idea,” White said. “So we’re talking about going into Russia possibly with Khabib.”
Such an event would have to take place in 2017 at the earliest, as the UFC has already unveiled the rest of its schedule for this year.
After an injury prone couple of years, Nurmagomedov returned to the Octagon at UFC on Fox 19, where he earned a second-round TKO victory over short-notice foe Darrell Horcher. “The Eagle” was supposed to face fellow contender Tony Ferguson at the event, but Ferguson had to pull out of the contest.
The 27-year-old Dagestani is 23-0 as a professional and 7-0 in the UFC, with triumphs over the likes of Rafael dos Anjos, Thiago Tavares and Gleison Tibau, to name a few.