The UFC's international expansion has come at a rapid pace this year, as the introduction of UFC Fight Pass has allowed the company to put on more fight cards than any other year. This includes bringing the show on the road to markets who have yet to have an event or don't get events nearly enough.
This year alone, the UFC has broken into Singapore, while returning to locations such as Abu Dhabi and Macau. They also plan on touchdowns in New Zealand, Ireland and Germany, among other places.
So, what other cities in foreign lands should the UFC host a Fight Night card? Let's examine four places the UFC should touch down.
Right now, Russia is the biggest hotbed for MMA talent. In my opinion, a close second in terms of up-and-coming talent that can make an impact in this sport is the country of Poland.
The country is packed with untapped potential. Some of the great fighters they have that the UFC could sign and put on the card include Marcin Tybura, Damian Grabowski, Marcin Lasota and Lukasz Sajewski. Those are just a few of the guys they could snag.
Obviously, Mamed Khalidov is a pipe dream for the card. If the UFC were willing to cough up some serious bucks and tear Khalidov from KSW, it would really make the card great.
Not only would those new guys enhance the card, but the UFC has a few great Polish fighters they could add to the card. The UFC currently boasts Polish fighters Daniel Omielanczuk, Jan Blachowicz, Krzysztof Jotko and Piotr Hallmann, who has contributed positively to the company.
It would be a great market to tap, as the country is MMA crazy. They could draw great attendance and plant the seed for future shows.
You may not realize it, but South Africa has become a popular place for MMA. They are currently building talent and have done a great job developing the sport.
EFCA has been putting on quality shows for the country and packing the house for those shows. It led to heavyweight Ruan Potts getting signed to the UFC, though he lost in his recent debut to Soa Palelei.
However, he is not the only solid fighter from the country. Guys like Garreth McLellan and Gideon Drotschie have the talent to make it to the UFC and occupy a spot on the card.
Sure, the talent is a little lighter in South Africa, but they would pack the house to catch a UFC show.
There was a time when the UFC needed to seek refuge due to crazy lawmakers early in the sport. When they needed a place to put on a show, Puerto Rico stepped up and allowed the UFC to display their high-level brand of MMA.
Dana White and some friends already made a recent trip there to tour the country. They have basically vowed to go there anyways, but they're starting with a Fight Night card to gauge interest and see if a pay-per-view in the future is doable.
Which of the four foreign cities would you like the UFC to visit the most?
It could be an event where the UFC explores the history of UFC in Puerto Rico in the lead-up to the fight. It would be a cool way to walk down memory lane and promote an event that could be in a key market.
The UFC has touched down in China, Japan and Singapore. However, an Asian market that would be perfect for a fight card is Seoul, South Korea. In fact, they have provided some great talents for the UFC lately, which makes this city a great option for the company.
As of late, talents like Hyun Gyu Lim, Chan Sung Jung, Dong Hyun Kim, Kyung Ho Kang and Yui Chul Nam have brought the country attention due to their impressive performances. Not only that, but draws such as Benson Henderson and BJ Penn have Korean heritage, which could be used as top additions to the card.
South Korea has put on some great shows between Road FC and other local shows. If the UFC arrived, the show could be an awesome experience for the fans in attendance and those who tune in to watch.