UFC eyes India for 2013 bout

Updated: August 10, 2012, 11:33 AM ET
By Brett Okamoto | ESPN.com

The UFC is finalizing its expansion plans into India and hopes to hold a live event in the country early next year.

UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta told ESPN.com the brand's presence in India has grown exponentially since signing a multiyear broadcasting deal with Multi Screen Media in April.

The UFC intends to solidify its schedule of shows for early 2013 later this year, and Fertitta said India could very well be in the plans.

"We'd like to do a big, live event sometime in 2013," Fertitta said. "We'll roll that schedule out in the fourth quarter of this year, and there's a good possibility India will be on the list."

Final production schedules are also being formalized for an Indian installment of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series. UFC president Dana White has announced India is one of several regions the promotion is planning to launch the series in.

"We have a huge audience (in India)," Fertitta said. "We're being promoted within the IPL (Indian Premier League), which is the cricket league where they get 150 million people watching. So there are 150 million more people in India who know who we are that didn't know last year."

Global expansion has been a clear goal of the organization in recent years. The UFC made its Swedish debut this year and is scheduled to trek to China for the first time in November.