Dana White stands poised on the beach city of Rio de Janiero, Brazil to unfold his Ultimate Fighting Championship banner in the South American people.
Mixed martial arts are no stranger to Brazilians.
The UFC president brings along Brazilian MMA stars middleweight champion Anderson “Spyder” Silva, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira for UFC 134. The spectacle is one of two major events this past week for the Las Vegas-based organization.
Recently, the prizefighting promotion company signed a multimillion dollar deal estimated to be more than $90 million per year with Fox Television that gained broadcast rights for eight years.
“The first show will be on Nov. 12,” said White, who met with a small handful of newspaper journalists in Burbank, Calif. earlier this week. “It’s what Fox wants.”
On that same day the MMA show that is scheduled to take place at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Nov. 12 will compete with the boxing extravaganza that features Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao versus Juan Manuel Marquez.
That’s how confident both Fox and UFC are about their newfound relationship that will begin with the November show. This Saturday’s fight card will be shown on pay-per-view with the preliminaries shown on Spike and Facebook.com.
UFC 134 was an instant sell out with requests for tickets surpassing the 300,000 mark, according to White.
“Forty million people will see it in Brazil,” said White dressed in a t-shirt during the sit down luncheon. “I hate to be cocky. If I was that cocky we’d be doing (having the fight card) a soccer stadium in Brazil.”
The MMA card will be held at a 14,000 seat arena and it marks the first time UFC puts its brand in the South American country that has sent so many MMA fighters to the United States of America.
White exudes confidence over the first UFC card held in Brazil and is ecstatic over the Fox deal that secures a mainstream presence on American television.
“In the next two years we will be considered mainstream,” promises White whose partners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta forge the leadership of the MMA powerhouse organization. “It was the deal I always wanted.”
Now let’s see what happens in Brazil as Silva (30-4) faces Japan’s Yushin Okami (26-5) in the main event and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (19-5) and Forrest Griffin (18-6) tangle once again in a light heavyweight match. In a third match Nogueira (32-6-1) faces Brendan Schaub (8-1). A number of other bouts are scheduled.
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?