UFC.com’s Thomas Gerbasi reported today that over 4,000 fans came out to watch Chuck Liddell work out in the Mall of Asian in Pasay City in the Philippines on Sunday. Liddell and Lorenzo Fertitta were in the Philippines as part of a trip that has taken Fertitta to the United Kingdom, Dublin, France and Germany to work on the global expansion of the UFC product.
The UFC’s partnership with Filipino media company ABS-CBN has allowed the UFC to become more popular than even Fertitta imagined. The UFC is the top rated program on their sports network and has allowed the UFC brand to become very strong in the Filipino market.
So strong, in fact, that the UFC is eyeing summer of 2009 for a possible UFC show in Manila to be headlined by some of the UFC’s biggest stars along with local MMA flavor mixed into the card.
“It will be a combination of bringing over some of our stars and then hopefully having some local Filipino fighters, and maybe bringing in some of the guys from Japan and South Korea,” Fertitta told UFC.com.
When the UFC does make its first foray into the Philippines the one current fighter on the roster than you can definitely expect to see on the card is Brandon Vera. Vera, who is Filipino in heritage, is loved by the fans there and is a shoe-in to be on the card.
We will have more details on the card as they develop.