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UFC Seeks Latino Audience

Although mixed martial arts is getting closer to being as popular a sport as boxing in the United States, that is not the case among Latino fans. So America's most popular MMA organization, UFC, is trying to change that.

The Los Angeles Times reports today on UFC's new Spanish language cable show, El Octagono.
"It's important to get those fans," UFC lightweight Kenny Florian said. "They're so passionate about boxing, and this is very much in line with what they like about combat. We know they support Latino fighters in boxing, and now it's just about giving them more awareness about our sport, and showing them how exciting our fights are. Awareness has been the main obstacle."
Florian, whose parents are from Peru, speaks fluent Spanish, as does his scheduled opponent at UFC 87, Roger Huerta, whose parents are from Mexico. UFC 87 is in Minneapolis, a city whose population is about 10 percent Latino. The extent to which Latinos turn out for the show -- and whether large numbers of Latinos across the country buy the pay-per-view -- will say a lot about how much progress UFC has made in this target demographic.