AN AUSTRALIAN version of The Ultimate Fighter will be underway by Christmas if UFC boss Dana White has his way.
The Sunday Telegraph can reveal White, whose fight company has already twice sold out Acer Arena in Sydney, wants to now pit Mixed Martial Artists from Australia and England in a special version of the reality TV series that has already become a global phenomenon.
Dubbed 'The Bashes', the local production would still be shot in Las Vegas and involve some dozen fighters living, training and battling in a knockout-style MMA competition. As always, the winner would be given a six-figure UFC contract.
"Right now we have three Australian broadcasters interested and a number of blue chips sponsors willing to write checks,'' says Marshall Zelaznik, UFC Managing Director of International Development. "That's what has us really excited, the fact we have serious backers for a concept that is obviously very expensive to produce.
"I'd like to think that before the end of the year we could be into pre-production. The pieces are certainly coming together."
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