Recently, UFC president, Dana White announced that they were going to do an Ultimate Fighter season in India somewhere in 2013. For those that don’t know, The Ultimate Fighter is an MMA reality show where various fighters compete against each other to get a contract to fight for the UFC and it has already seen international success with TUF: Brazil and TUF: The Smashes(Australia vs England) with many fighters from those countries in the UFC roster now. What this means is, fighters from India will be given a chance to fight for the UFC and potentially become champion one day.
The UFC has made a deal with SONY SIX for TUF: India but they also plan to organize live UFC events in India in the coming years. This is great news not just for Indian MMA but the whole South Asian MMA scene as neighboring countries will benefit from the UFC shows as MMA grows in popularity and more and more people start watching the sport, creating a larger audience and demand for local fighters, as everyone would like to see their country represented in a sport they follow, especially in an amazing spectacle such as MMA. If UFC shows experience the same success in India, as they do in countries like Brazil or Canada, MMA will be huge in the sub continent, maybe even surpassing the popularity of cricket in a few years!
As more and more international promotions show interest in Asian MMA(especially the sub continent region) the more opportunities open up for Pakistani fighters to fight internationally and get signed by international promotions, enabling them to fight abroad.
Another very successful MMA promotion, ONE FC has already started signing fighters from India, Pakistan, Thailand and various other South Asian countries, including PAKMMA founder, Bashir Ahmad. Bashir will be representing Pakistan in ONE FC around April this year and he will be the first Pakistani to fight for ONE FC.
At the current rate, in the coming years MMA will become extremely popular in the sub continent and many people would like to watch, train and compete in MMA all over the sub continent. Hopefully TUF: India will be a success and might help bring the UFC and The Ultimate Fighter to India’s next door neighbor Pakistan, so we may see more South Asian fighters in the Octagon in the next few years.