UFC 100 Does 1.5 Million PPV Buys, Next Stop Dubai?


Kevin Iole reports that UFC 100 lived up to the very high expectations:

UFC 100 was available in more than 300 million homes in 17 languages. While the UFC has a company policy of not disclosing exact pay-per-view figures, the sales for UFC 100 were in excess of 1.5 million, making it one of the most-watched PPV events in history.

I should add that his basis for this is a somewhat cryptic comment from UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta about Dana White having to make good on a promise to bungee base jump off Mandalay Bay Casino if the event made the 1.5 million target.

More interesting is this bit about Lorenzo Fertitta's impressive international successes and a hint as to one of his next targets:

...since Fertitta’s first full day as the UFC’s chief executive officer, he has landed television deals in China, Mexico, France and Germany; is on the verge of bringing a fight card in February to Sydney, Australia...

The UFC has long coveted Mexico as a market because of its vast number of fight fans. Fertitta worked out a deal with Televisa, the largest media company in the Spanish-speaking world and UFC 100 was shown live for free and drew 25 million viewers.

In addition, Fertitta believes he’s made significant inroads toward a television deal in the Middle East. A live event in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates seems more and more likely.

Lorenzo better get cracking because it looks like there's already a competitior looking to break into the Dubai MMA market:

Xtreme Kombat League (XKL) has announced its first major international mixed martial arts (MMA) event - "The Road To Dubai" - which starts in Michigan on August 15 2009, followed by a new concept reality TV show and with two of the top names in the MMA world, Pat Miletich and Dan Severn as team coaches. Pat and Dan will be giving their expertise in training these fighters during the reality show. The main title fight event will take place in Dubai as a signature event of Dubai Shopping Festival in February 2010, with a potential 500 million worldwide viewers.

There's a bit of a storied history with Dubai and MMA. The funders behind the illustrious Abu Dhabi Combat Club and associated submission grappling championships once funded a big show in Brazil with plans to bring full on MMA back to Arabia. Unfortunately the infamous feud between jiu jitsu and luta livre caused the headliner to end in a riot and that put the money people off of doing full-on MMA.


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