If there’s one thing Dana White loves to talk about event after event, it’s how rapidly the UFC is growing. The company has expanded year after year since 2005, and according to Dana, it’s not slowing down in 2011. He detailed what that growth would entail at the UFC 123 post-fight press conference.
“We’re working on two deals right now, in the next few months, that I’m very confident we’ll get done. We’ll be in over a billion homes worldwide on television,” White offered during the post-fight news conference when asked if he felt the UFC’s popularity could rival that of World Wrestling Entertainment in its prime. “What does that mean for the sport in the next three years, let alone five or ten?”
“A lot of people don’t realize, right now, we’re in a half a billion homes worldwide. We’re in 175 different countries. We’re pretty big right now. I envision it being much bigger,” said White. “I think we’re gonna be bigger than everything.”
“We’ll probably do around 30, 31 fights next year,” said White.
As BE’s Anton Tabuena notes, 31 shows is close to what Zuffa did with the UFC and WEC combined this year, so while there will be more UFC shows, there won’t necessarily be more Zuffa-produced shows following the UFC-WEC merger.
Of course, the real tease here is the TV deals. It sounded like Dana was talking about international television deals in the quote, but there’s still the lingering rumor that the UFC could finally find it’s way onto network television in 2011. There haven’t been any further developments on that front since Dana hinted at it in an interview with Broadcasting & Cable, but that doesn’t necessarily mean those talks aren’t still happening as well.