The next finale of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) mixed martial arts competition could take place in Abu Dhabi, according to one of the sports administrators.
The organising body has confirmed that next year’s showpiece will be hosted overseas and the emirates capital has already been mentioned as a strong possibility.
“In the Middle East – in Abu Dhabi – part of kids’ curriculum in school is Jiu Jitsu. From kindergarten up, it’s like English or math,” claimed Dana White, president, UFC. “Trust me, it [UFC] is a lot bigger than you realise.”
Abu Dhabi will face competition from Canada to host the February 2011 event but White said that both destinations will eventually be given the chance.
Abu Dhabi government backed promoter Flash Entertainment owns a ten percent stake in the sport.
UFC is available in 300 million homes worldwide with individual events capable of pulling in US $30 million in pay per view revenue.