The global reach of the UFC is unquestionable at this point in their existence and that next place the promotion is looking to expand that reach into is Africa and the African sports market.
UFC President Dana White says that no matter where you are, fighting is in the DNA of all human beings.
“No matter what colour you are, what language you speak or what country you come from, we are all human beings and fighting is in our DNA. We get it and we like it,” said White to African Business Magazine.
There are only 11 fighters currently on the UFC roster from Africa according to the African Business Magazine and arguably the most popular are Israel Adesanya, Kamaru Usman and Francis Ngannou. Duncan French, who is the UFC VP Of Performance At The UFC Performance Institute, says that the African fighters are making waves right now.
“African fighters are making waves right now,” says French. “These people have produced world-class athletic talent, largely without an infrastructure of development and talent improvement. When the UFC enters a new market they look for peace and stability and athletic development potential. In new territories we might be trying to use a Performance Institute to drive pay per view buys and accelerate interest that way. If you look at Africa that’s probably not going to be the case, but we would more likely go there for pure talent development, to bring out some incredible athletes to light up our sport.”
While there are no plans to run any UFC events in Africa for the time being, that could all change once the coronavirus pandemic comes to a close.