Canada is currently the mecca for mixed martial arts and the UFC (at least according to UFC President Dana White), but by the end of 2012, Brazil will be the new MMA capital.

With the UFC committing to having three shows in Canada for every year through 2014 and The Ultimate Fighter making its mark in Brazil, the company continues to globally expand.

Just look at where the promotion has been thus far in 2012 and where they will be.

The company has already had events in Brazil, Australia and Japan. They’re going Sweden for a fight card on April 14, back to Brazil for UFC 147 in June and bringing a show to Calgary in July.

And just like the UFC has made Canada a priority, they’re making Brazil an even bigger priority. After all, Brazil is the first country outside of the United States to have its own version of TUF.

Bring the reality show to Brazil was a brilliant move for several reasons. The most obvious is the country is home to some of the greatest MMA fighters of all time. In fact, three of the UFC’s current champions are Brazilian fighters and many consider middleweight Champion Anderson Silva the Michael Jordan of MMA.

Fighters like Silva, Junior dos Santos, Jose Aldo, Lyoto Machida, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and many others have already left an everlasting mark on the sport, and who knows what other great talents will emerge from this season in Brazil?

Another reason it was a good move to have TUF in Brazil is because of the ratings in Brazil. According to the company’s estimate, over 60 million people in Brazil watched dos Santos dethrone Cain Velasquez on the first UFC on Fox card in November of last year.

“Brazil is becoming our new Canada,” UFC president Dana White said at the post-fight media conference for UFC on Fox. “We’re going to be doing a lot of stuff in Brazil. Brazil is taking off.”

And while Canada has held some memorable moments throughout the years, it won’t top what the UFC is bringing to Brazil in June.

In front of 80,000 people in a soccer stadium, Silva will defend his title against Chael Sonnen in front of his home crowd.

It will be the largest attendance in UFC history, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see White commit to three-to-four shows annually in Brazil by the end of the year.

While the UFC continues to globally expand and make both Canada and Brazil a top priority outside of the States, Brazil will prove to be that goldmine that launches the UFC to another level.

Photo: UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos (Rob Tatum/The MMA Corner)

About The Author

Jake Martin

Jake attends Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La., where he studies Mass Communication in print and public relations. He is also the sports editor of his school newspaper, The Nicholls Worth. Jake works at the Concordia Sentinel in Ferriday, La. during the summer.