It’s not everyday you see professional sports leagues like the NFL, MLB or NBA go overseas to expand their game to audiences that are deprived of it.
Yet with the UFC, it is almost a tradition.
Already with two to three events a year in the United Kingdom and one in Canada, the UFC debuted in Germany last year and will be going to Australia in less than a month.
However, perhaps the most intriguing event to come on the UFC radar since UFC 100 is UFC 112 which will take place outdoors in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on April 10, 2010.
Today the UFC along with their new strategic partners based out of Abu Dhabi, Flash Entertainment, officially announced the event which will take place live from Concert Arena from Ferrari World, Yas Island. Yes it is a mouth full but that is the name of the outdoor venue.
From UFC President Dana White:
“This is one of the biggest and most significant nights in the history of the UFC. UFC 112 is our first ever outdoor event and it is taking place in the hometown of our brand new partners, Flash Entertainment. We are very happy we could deliver what fans around the world will recognize as a stacked card featuring the sport’s biggest stars.”
It cannot be understated what it will mean to see some of the UFC’s biggest stars fighting under the stars. How cool will that be?
So far the card is expected to feature middleweight champion Anderson Silva defending his title against Vitor Belfort as well as lightweight champion BJ Penn taking on challenger Frankie Edgar. If that weren’t enough (and trust me, it more than is) UFC Hall-of-famer Matt Hughes will be taking on a member of the great MMA family, Renzo Gracie, which is probably alone in responsibility for the creation of MMA.
So with their partnership with Flash Entertainment and an April trip to Abu Dhabi with some of their biggest stars, the UFC has clearly signified an ambition to cement their foothold in the World abroad not only the Middle East and Europe.
Look for the UFC to begin holding yearly events in Abu Dhabi in addition to the yearly shows in the UK and Canada.