The UFC has gone global with television deals and shows in Brazil, Japan, Canada, and many European countries. One of the largest markets where the UFC has yet to conquer is Russia and it is looking like the UFC is close to closing a television deal according to Gary Cook, UFC chief global brand officer.
The UFC would excel in Russia, as the country has produced many superstar fighters, and there are currently Russian competitors in the UFC who would bring many fans to watch them compete. An Ultimate Fighter show in Russia would make perfect sense, and what a better way to push Khabib Nurmagomedov (22-0, number 2 UFC lightweight rank).
Nurmagomedov would be the poster child for UFC’s invasion of Russia, along with flyweight competitor Ali Bagautinov (13-3, #6 UFC rank), Rustam Khabilov (15-2), and former UFC heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski (23-10, 1 NC , #7 heavyweight in UFC). The UFC could use the show as they have in the past to bring in new fighters to the promotion. The UFC would go head to head against Russia’s top MMA organization: M1 Global, who have no love lost with UFC president Dana White when the UFC was in hot pursuit of signing Fedeor Emelianenko, who is now part owner of M1.