Just how involved will the UFC be in Asia this year as they expand their Fight Night series to cater to local markets? According to Mark Fischer, the Managing Director for UFC Asia, the world's promotional leader in mixed martial arts intends on doing as many as seven shows in the region.
"I think we're going for 5 or 6, with an outside chance of even 7 in Asia this year," Fischer told Bloody Elbow, who first reported the news. "They'll be UFC Fight Nights, and they'll be very exciting cards with top contenders in the main event. I think we will continue to expand and maintain our presence in all the markets we are going to, and we are going to be adding gradually each year."
The first of those events begins this Saturday with UFC Fight Night 34 in Singapore. a card headlined by a welterweight scrap between former Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine and Hyun Gyu Lim. The event will air live on the UFC's new digital streaming service, UFC Fight Pass.
According to Fischer, UFC intends to return to Macau, China for the finale of the current season of TUF: China and is looking at an event in the Philippines this year as well.
"We hope that (UFC: Philippines) is going to happen on late 2nd quarter of 2014," he states, "We're having some very good discussions there. They've got a great new venue in the Mall of Asia Arena, and of course, a tremendous fan base. The Philippines has probably one of our largest followings per capita in all of Asia for the UFC. We have a great broadcast partner there, and we'd love to come on 2014. Right now we're just ironing out these details to make that happen."