UFC President Dana White kicked off UFC Macau on August 23, 2014 with his first visit to Hong Kong and an open forum press conference. Dong Hyun Kim’s opponent change and a lively flurry between headliners Cung Le and Michael Bisping cornerstoned the event.
During the press conference, MMA-in-ASIA asked White about one specific part of the UFC’s China development. Would there be a second season of The Ultimate Fighter China?
“As you know, that’s what we want to do… we’ve got the first one under our belts and we want to do a second one, this market is very important to us. Yes, there will be a Season 2, we’re just trying to work it out,” White responded.
Following the conference, MMA-in-ASIA got some one to one time with White. In a very candid interview, he started by saying that he is excited about the cities of Hong Kong and Macau, and can’t wait to bring an entourage over for UFC Macau, including Ronda Rousey.
However, the bummer of the day was Hector Lombard’s injury announcement which prevents him from facing Kim Dong-Hyun. White discussed how he got the word, his feelings, and how they came up with #4 ranked Tyron Woodley as Kim’s new opponent. Ironically, Woodley himself is also in Asia currently training at Evolve MMA in Singapore.
MMA-in-ASIA ventured outside of UFC Macau and into the Philippines, specifically regarding Brandon Vera’s recent cut from the roster. White was emphatic that is meant nothing in regards to the UFC’s high interest in the Philippines market, as well as mentioning Greece and Thailand on his “bucket list” for future UFC events.
While the Philippines has a regulating body for MMA, many of the UFC’s expansions have gone where nothing exists in terms of government sanctioning. When asked, White detailed that they are self-regulating in many markets before bodies exist to do such, and that they drug test every fighter on those cards.
One very interesting potential development concerns Fight Pass, and what the future holds in terms of increased content. MMA-in-ASIA asked White about his thoughts on currently signed Josh Barnett and recently retired Chael Sonnen grappling at the upcoming Metamoris. White responded in a very positive way, and said that what Fight Pass has in store for the airing of additional content will be quite exciting news.
White concluded by stating that the UFC is determined to succeed in the Asian market.