clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Could UFC Be The Biggest Sport In The World By 2020?

New, 5 comments

Well, UFC president Dana White thinks so as he spoke to the Las Vegas Sun:

"UFC will be the biggest sport in the world by 2020. People were saying I was a lunatic 10 years ago when we first got this going, but the stuff we’re working on right now on so many levels is mind-boggling.... The sport was just sanctioned in Massachusetts and Vancouver. We’re going to get it done in Ontario and New York in 2010. And we’re already working on taking the UFC global. We’ve already done Germany, England and Ireland, and we just sold 22,000 seats for an event in Australia in 15 minutes.... Right now we are on some form of television in over 175 countries. We’re all human beings and we all 'get' fighting.... Me and Lorenzo Fertitta will sit down and figure out a game plan for the next 10 years, and we’ll execute it. So, is 10 years enough time to make this the biggest sport in the world? Hell, yeah."

This is irking the hell out of me, but the sport is MMA not the UFC.  However, I understand what White means because most casual fans have the thinking that ALL MMA=UFC.  With that said, White often uses the NFL's failure to expand into Europe as an example of why the UFC will be bigger.  I agree with him that combat sports can transcend any language barrier, etc.  I suppose you would really have to determine what he means by the 'biggest sport' in the world.  I'm sure there are certain ways that his statement could be spun to make it somewhat true.  Is it the number of eyeballs that see UFC events across the globe that he's talking about?  The UFC claims that over 500 million people saw UFC 100.  The UFC has certainly come a LONG way in the last decade, and they have made necessary inroads to capitalize on that success.  However, to become the biggest sport in the next decade is probably a bit far fetched, but I can't be madd at Dana White for having lofty goals.  My thing is, I wonder if the UFC will get so caught up with global expansion that they leave the door open for someone like Strikeforce to drop an anchor here in the U.S.  What say you?

HT: MMAMania