There has been a shift in power at the top of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s international division.
According to a report by MMAFighting.com, Garry Cook, who was in charge of the promotion’s operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, has been named the UFC’s Chief Global Officer. Cook is expected to move to Las Vegas after previously running the organization’s U.K. office.
Cook was hired by the UFC two years ago. Before venturing into MMA, the British executive worked for Nike from 1996 to 2008, notably heading up the “Brand Jordan” project – which allowed him to work closely with former Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan. Cook also served as CEO for the soccer club Manchester City from 2008 to 2011.
According to a statement provided by the UFC, Cook will transition into his new role over the next few months. He will continue to oversee operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa until a replacement is appointed. Cook will join the executive management team and report to Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Lawrence Epstein.
Meanwhile, Mark Fischer, who was Executive Vice President and Managing Director for Asia, has been let go by the promotion. During Fischer’s four-year tenure, the UFC was able to hold events in Japan, Singapore and Macau. The promotion also produced the inaugural season of “The Ultimate Fighter: China,” which concluded earlier this year. The inability to get an event into mainland China may have been a key factor in Fischer’s dismissal.
Prior to his UFC employment, Fischer was the Senior Vice President and Managing Director of NBA Asia and was a key figure in establishing the league’s presence in China.