Report: M-1 Global President Doubts UFC Can Turn Profit in Russia
By FCF Staff
UFC President Dana White has relayed for sometime now that the promotion plans to hold events in the MMA hotbed of Russia, but according to one of the nation’s top promoters, the American based company will be hard pressed to make money.
Vadim Finkelchtein is the President of M-1 Global, which promotes M-1 Challenge events throughout Russia, Asia and Eastern Europe. Recently the veteran promoter spoke to Bloody Elbow.com about the UFC’s plans to hold an event in Russia, and here is some of what Finkelchtein had to say.
“The main problem that the UFC would face here is that most Russian fans are not used to paying for watching some events; either paying for Pay-Per-View or even paying for tickets,” Vadim said, after noting that it is very “difficult, if not impossible” to make a profit in the Russian MMA landscape. “They are simply not used to that. If there are some ‘super-celebrities’ or businessmen, they don’t buy the tickets. They just call and say they want a ticket for this or that. You need to understand how to work with them. The whole structure of this here is different than in the UFC.”
The M-1 Global President also claims that because he has longstanding relationships with various venues in Russia, he is able to reduce his operating costs. Finkelchtein also argued that Russian fans are more familiar with M-1 Global fighters than even major, UFC stars, since their fights are televised live throughout Russia.
Finkelchtein also stated in the interview that “personally”, he would like to see the UFC hold an event in the northern nation.