Now that the ufc has their first-ever champion of Mexican descent, a lot of fans and insiders are beginning to wonder how long it will take for the UFC to hold an event in Mexico. In the past, Mexico hasn’t seemed like that much of a priority to the UFC despite their rapid international expansion. Could this be due to the rampant political strife and ongoing war between the Mexican government and the drug cartels? Shockingly enough, UFC President Dana White sees that as just another obstacle.
Here’s what Dana had to say regarding the situation in a video posted on MMA Weekly: “Obviously when you move into other countries and try to do business there, there’s obstacles and different things that you have to deal with that you don’t have to deal with in the United States… We’re always going to face different obstacles: the stuff going on in Germany, the stuff going on in France, it’s just part of doing business and doing business globally.”
I’ll start off by saying that I think the UFC could definitely be very successful in Mexico. I think they could’ve been successful with or without newly-minted Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez, but I think the UFC is practically guaranteeing themselves a sellout and a live attendance gate worth several million dollars if they head down south for one of Velasquez’s title defenses. I don’t think Mexico will ever get on the UK or Canada’s level (both markets have given the UFC some of their biggest attendance numbers of all time), but I do think Mexico could be a valuable international market and that it would be a huge boon to the UFC to claim that they’re now accepted across North America.
However, I think Dana White is doing a great disservice to the strife brewing south of the border by claiming that it will be another day at the office when they try to book a show in Mexico. This isn’t an angry media or a hesitant athletic body… this is a bloody war that has the potential to destroy the Mexican government as we know it. This isn’t an obstacle you can simply sweep under the rug. Whether the UFC wants to admit it or not, it’s going to take a lot of maneuvering to both hold a show in Mexico and guarantee the safety of all involved.
In all honesty, I think it may be in the UFC’s best interest not to push into Mexico for the foreseeable future. The cartel wars see no signs of slowing down, in fact, there’s a good chance that it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better. If the UFC wants to milk Cain for all he’s worth, then they should and most likely will simply market him to Mexican-Americans and have him fight in places like California, or Texas, or Arizona. I think Mexico could one day become a good partner and a sound investment for the UFC, but until the political climate evens out, the UFC is best served avoiding Mexico altogether.
And what do you think, fans and friends? Would it really be just another day at the office if the UFC tried to book an event in Mexico? And are the cartel wars just another obstacle in a long line of obstacles that the UFC has faced when breaking into new international markets?
Source: http://www.fighters.com, by Oliver Saenz.