As the Ultimate Fighting Championship looks to expand globally, President
He took time away from lunch Thursday in London, where he was at a gallery showing of the book
You think about the NFL, right? There's nothing bigger in the United States than the NFL -- it's huge. I don't care if you didn't watch one football game all season, everybody watches the Super Bowl. But, they can't break through into Europe -- they can't break into Europe -- and it's because nobody plays football here. Nobody cares.
It's like saying that cricket is going to make it big over in the United States. It's never going to happen. But I think two guys, put them in the Octagon, and they can use any martial art they want -- that breaks through all cultural barriers, language barriers -- everything. Inside all of us as human beings, people like fighting. People get it, people like it. It doesn't have to be explained to them. They don't have to know first down, second down, punt, kick -- they don't have to know any of that stuff.
So, we believe that this sport can make it over here, and when you look at what we've done in the UK so far, this fight that we're doing Saturday, we broke the record at the arena in Newcastle -- the biggest gate they've ever had. We did record numbers in the O2 Arena [UFC 75], record numbers in Manchester [UFC 70], so we know they love it over there. It's just figuring out the television deals. The television landscape is a lot different in the UK than in the US. What I believe is, over the next few years, everything on television is going to the Internet and I think we can do the biggest global pay-per-view ever.
We want to get out there, get the brand known, get people into mixed martial arts. We're taking the show around and traveling it to introduce it to people because the bottom line is if you've never seen mixed martial arts and you think, "Oh god, I wouldn't like it -- it's barbaric," all I have to do is get you inside that arena and you're converted. It's the most exciting combat sport in the world and it's probably the greatest live sporting event you'll ever see. I really believe that when this thing goes to the Internet, we're going to be global.
That's what you get in the UFC still. It's not about money to me. Trust me when I tell you the guys are making damn good money. They're getting paid. The company's making money, everybody's making money. But it's about the fights. I don't care about the money. I don't even like talking about money. The fans show up, they get autographs with the fighters, they get stuff signed that they bring. The sport is very fan-friendly, approachable, and it's not about the money.