UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta was in India Tuesday, announcing the launch of TUF India. (Photo: Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
Earlier this year, UFC president Dana White mentioned that The Ultimate Fighter would likely debut in India soon. Soon officially became 2013 as the organization announced TUF India is moving ahead next year, the third international edition of the sports reality franchise.
In a press conference in Mumbai, UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta announced the news and their broadcast partner in the project, SONY SIX. The partnership extends past TUF and is more like their deal with Fuel as the network will air live events, Countdown, Primetime and UFC Unleashed.
"SIX’s willingness to step up and commit to The Ultimate Fighter India was very important to us. TUF India will help to introduce the sport in India, to showcase the hard work, dedication, athleticism and skills needed to compete in the UFC. It will also cast a spotlight throughout the country, searching for the most talented local martial artists," Fertitta said.
"The UFC will be successful in India even without local stars, but what we’ve seen around the world is fans really want to see one of their own get a chance to compete at the highest level. Somewhere out there in a country of 1.2 billion there is a Indian champion, someone who will capture the imagination of the fans and help take the sport to a whole new level," he continued.
The UFC dove into international TUF waters with a Brazil edition earlier this year, with TUF: The Smashes (UK vs. Australia) set to debut Down Under this month.