The UFC recently invaded New York for the first time in over two decades with UFC 205, an event that was a huge success in just about every way you can measure it.
UFC President Dana White stated following UFC 205 that the company could look to attack another major market in Russia.
“Our big focus after New York is going to be Russia and China,” White told CBS Sports. “This thing is massive in Russia right now.”
Russia is currently in the midst of an MMA boom right now, particularly with promotions like M-1 Global, Absolute Championships Berkut and Eurasia Fight Nights running in the region.
White will be visiting the country shortly, with one of the newest owners of the UFC, Ari Emanuel, to see if the world’s largest MMA promotion should run there. Previous reports from Bloody Elbow have stated that if the UFC were to debut in Russia, locations like Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi would be where the first event would be held.
“Ari and I are going to Russia in the next couple of weeks,” White said at the UFC 205 post-fight press conference. “We’re working on some real big moves here in the next few months. I promise you this: when we roll into Russia, we’re going to make it big.”
The company contracts several Russian talents, most notably Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The UFC has only announced events up until March, so there is plenty of room on the calendar for the UFC to come to Russia in 2017.