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Garry Cook promoted to UFC Chief Global Officer

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Boris Streubel

Controversial former Manchester City soccer team CEO Garry Cook, who joined the UFC two years ago to head operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, is moving to Las Vegas to take over as the promotion's Chief Global Officer.

This would make Cook one of the most powerful figures in the organization, as he would be in charge of all the international territories.

Sources within the promotion confirmed the appointment earlier Thursday, as did Dana White via text message on Thursday night.

"(The) guy is a f***ig stud," said White, who made the same statement several times in recent months at European shows, when talking about how Cook was the right guy to build the brand in Europe. Cook had been running the company's U.K. office.

Cook had lived in the U.S. in the 80s and 90s, including a stint at Nike, where he was the head of "Brand Jordan." Cook was CEO of Manchester City from 2008 to 2011, and started with UFC one year later.

As part of the reorganization of the international division, Mark Fischer, who had been Executive Vice President and Managing Director for Asia for the past four years, has been released. Fischer had been a key player in establishing the NBA brand in China before coming to the UFC. The promotion had hoped to be able to expand its brand into mainland China, which is a difficult place to navigate.

Over Fischer's four years, they were able to run several shows in Macau, and produce a season of The Ultimate Fighter on Chinese television, but had not been able to break into the largest cities in China for live events.