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New promotion EuroFC features UFC vets Niinimaki, Badurek, launches in October

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A new All-European MMA promotion called European Fighting Challenge plans to tackle the old continent with former UFC talent, new up-and-coming stars and major events in capital cities.

Euro FC fighters Ali Mohammad, Omer, Niinimaki and Badurek in front of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
Euro FC fighters Ali Mohammad, Omer, Niinimaki and Badurek in front of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
Nazariy Kryvosheyev / EuroFC

On Tuesday, a new All-European mixed martial arts promotion has been unveiled in Berlin, Germany. EuroFC, short for European Fighting Challenge, will feature major events all over the continent, in capital cities and coveted venues. The idea behind the project is to form an organization that transcends national borders and unifies the European MMA scene.

So far, big European players like KSW, M-1 Global, Superior Challenge or Cage Rage have only managed to thrive in their respective countries or regions. EuroFC plans to cater the European market as a whole, with up-and-coming talent as well as popular veterans of the big leagues. The company announced it's first four signings in Berlin, the UFC veterans Tom Niinimaki, Izabela Badurek and Alan Omer, who were joined by promising Swedish top-heavyweight Yosef Ali Mohammad.

The foursome will likely be featured on EuroFC's first card on October 1 in Espoo, Finland's Metro Areena. The event is followed by a show at the gigantic O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic on February 11, 2017 and Copenhagen's Forum Arena on May 6, 2017. A total of six to seven events across Europe is planned for 2017, including the United Kingdom, Spain, Scandinavia, the Baltic states, Germany, and Russia. A ranking system and a Champion-of-Europe title will be introduced in the coming year as well.

Behind EuroFC stands a group of investors from Finland, led by the company's CEO Jarno Kukila (pictured left below). German MMA agent Tim Leidecker will handle the sports' side of the business, like talent development and matchmaking.

"From the fighters' perspective, we want to be the best MMA platform in Europe," Kukila said. "We put lots of time and effort on quality match-making, talent relations, athletes' safety and health as well as our good benefit package. For sponsors, we offer All-European demographics and exposure, and also high novelty value tied with local market leveraging. Fans will get top-level MMA in big European cities in European prime time. Hard-core MMA fans are going to love our exciting, high-quality fight cards. In addition we focus heavily on engaging with the broader audience by providing them an easy-to-understand pathway to the great sport of MMA. Our online presence and content will be on a completely new level and fans will be able to easily follow the stories of our fighters.

"We are confident that EuroFC will be the leading MMA platform in Europe and a legitimate alternative for Europe's best fighters and the most passionate fans."

According to Kukila, broadcasting deals are being negotiated right now. For the most part, EuroFC shows will likely be broadcasted via online video streaming. Kukila's goal is to make EuroFC the leading MMA promotion in Europe over the next few years.

"MMA is one of the world's fastest growing sport businesses. Since there are no existing All-European promotions, we are confident that we have a real market opportunity in Europe."

So far, the UFC is the only promotion that has managed to span the whole European continent with shows in the UK, Sweden, Germany, Poland and, most recently, Croatia. But yet, the world's leading MMA organization wasn't able to duplicate the success it has had in other markets like the US, Brazil or Canada. Their next trip to Europe is the May 8 Fight Night in Rotterdam, Netherlands, headlined by a heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem and Andrei Arlovski.

You can watch a trailer for the newly founded EuroFC promotion below: