"The Ultimate Fighter" is coming to India next year.
TUF: India will air in 2013, the UFC announced at a press conference in Mumbai on Tuesday. This will mark the third international version of TUF, following TUF: Brazil and TUF: Australia vs. UK.
In addition to TUF: India, the UFC announced a television deal with India's SONY SIX network to air live events, as well as specialty programming like "Countdown," "Unleashed," and "Primetime."
"SIX’s willingness to step up and commit to the Ultimate Fighter India was very important to us," UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta stated in a press release. "TUF India will help to introduce the sport in India, to showcase the hard work, dedication, athleticism and skills needed to compete in the UFC. It will also cast a spotlight throughout the country, searching for the most talented local martial artists.
"The UFC will be successful in India even without local stars, but what we’ve seen around the world is fans really want to see one of their own get a chance to compete at the highest level. Somewhere out there in a country of 1.2 billion there is a Indian champion, someone who will capture the imagination of the fans and help take the sport to a whole new level."
According to the release, casting details for TUF: India will be announced in the near future. No word just yet on whether the series will air in North America.
The sixteenth season of the original TUF premieres Friday on FX at 9 p.m. ET/PT.