The Ultimate Fighting Championship has no plans on slowing down its international expansion.
After a 2014 in which the promotion staged 22 events -- out of 47 overall -- outside the U.S., the world’s largest fight organization expects to hold 23 foreign cards next year, according to a report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. By comparison, the UFC held 10 events outside the U.S. in 2013.
“As a business, we’re moving from a fight promoter to a world-renowned sports media and entertainment company,” Garry Cook, the UFC’s chief global officer, told the Review-Journal.
The promotion unveiled dates for its entire 45-bout itinerary in November, although cities and venues still remain unknown for the majority of the schedule. Thus far, the UFC has seven official events running from Jan. 3 (UFC 182) to Feb. 28 (UFC 184). That includes two cards in Brazil and one in Stockholm.
According to the report, the Las Vegas-based promotion has made moving untapped markets in Russia, South Korea, Scotland and a Latin American country such as Panama or Costa Rica a priority in 2015. In addition, preproduction has started for “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show in Japan and the Middle East.
The UFC also plans to improve its global presence by selling Reebok manufactured UFC apparel and merchandise in “more than 10,000 retail stores around the world” and expanding the UFC gym business to include locations in London, Saudia Arabia, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Brazil and Germany.