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Marshall Zelaznik: UFC Fight Pass to begin airing live Shooto Brazil events

Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

The UFC Fight Pass archives are getting deeper, and the amount of streamed live events on the horizon is growing.

During Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, the UFC’s Chief Content Officer and Director of International Development, Marshall Zelaznik, said that Fight Pass would begin streaming live Shooto Brazil events -- possibly as early as this weekend at Shooto Brazil 54.

"We closed Shooto Brazil which, they’ve been around for 13 years, 50 events, with Jose Aldo, Renan Barao…I mean, when these guys were just raw, just tough fighters," he told Ariel Helwani. "So we’ve closed that. We’re getting that library in. And we’re working as hard as we can to see if we can do this weekend’s Shooto event live on Fight Pass."

Fight Pass is the UFC’s site for streaming live and archived fights. The site houses the libraries of defunct promotions such as Japan’s Pride FC, Strikeforce, the WEC and WFA, as well as current organizations such as Invicta FC.  As of June 2014, Fight Pass has streamed live Invicta FC events, the latest which occurred on April 24.

Zelaznik said that the Fight Pass brass considers themselves "archivists," and the Shooto Brazil is just the tip of the iceberg for live content they are working on.

"We got some more work to do, but if we can do it we’ll start screaming from the mountaintops, because Andre Pederneiras, who is the promoter there, he’s a good guy. He’s a solid guy. He’s put a good fight card together, so we’re trying to figure out how to get that in. But for sure, more live, more live. [UFC CEO] Lorenzo [Fertitta]’s on me every day -- ‘what’s coming? What do we have live?’ -- and we’re getting some operational production issues, but my guess is within the next 60 days you’ll see a lot of announcements. Probably the next 30 days, of more live inside Fight Pass."

As for this weekend’s Shooto Brazil show, Zelaznik said the UFC was doing its best to stream the coverage live, but that right now it’s still up in the air.

"We don’t know," he said. "You wouldn’t normally hear us talking about this. But I’m excited about it. I know Lorenzo is [too]. We just have some production. They produce the event live for Brazilian television, so we know there’s a live signal, but it’s making sure we can get it, and that we can get it in the quality we need and ensure that we have a consistent stream for everybody."

In the main event of Sunday night's Shooto card at the Hebraica gymnasium in Rio de Janeiro, Felipe Froes (10-2) meets Paulo Dantas (25-9-1) for the vacant featherweight title. Shooto Brazil lightweight champion and UFC veteran Ronys Torres (28-5) will face Benito Tavares (5-2) in a 160-pound catchweight bout in the co-main event. Luiz Cane (15-6, 1 no-contest), who fought in the UFC from 2007 to 2012, takes on Felipe Silva (2-1).

Even if this week’s event can’t be streamed live, Zelaznik said that going forward all future Shooto Brazil events would be.

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