Fighters Shane Carwin and Junior Dos Santos facing off at UFC 131 in Vancouver, Canada. June 11, 2011. (photo: Bad intentionz / Wikimedia) - Credit: Fighters Shane Carwin and Junior Dos Santos facing off at UFC 131 in Vancouver, Canada. June 11, 2011. (photo: Bad intentionz / Wikimedia)
UFC: Netherlands a “key market” for MMA events in 2016
Fans of mixed martial arts in the Netherlands will likely rejoice next year as one of the leading MMA promotion companies, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) plans to promote their events heavily in the Netherlands. “Holland is a key market for us and it’s somewhere we want to be,” new UFC vice-president and EMEA general manager James Elliot told MMAfighting.com. James also added that the Netherlands has a substantial kickboxing pedigree, and is a top target for a television deal with FOX in 2016. The UFC made two European debuts in Scotland and Poland during 2015 and is eager to add other countries such as Russia, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Germany and Ireland to their calendar. Elliot reported ticket sales for the Irish event last year sold out in under 60 seconds, adding that European MMA has never been stronger and that new European fighters were coming on board every week. Elliot stated that his goals for the UFC were fairly simple in that he wanted to procure television deals and host regular events in all the biggest cities in Europe, including France, which did not eagerly receive its first MMA cage event. He also pegged South Africa and the United Arab Emirates as key for UFC expansion. More European fighters have entered the MMA limelight in recent years, with the website specifically noting accomplishments by interim featherweight champion Conor McGregor, women’s straw-weight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and top light-heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson.