After bringing the UFC to Croatia, Zovko and his FFC team plan to conquer the US: ‘This is make it or break it’
Published: 13.04.2016 • 15:31
UFC spectacle that was held last weekend in Zagreb is the result of hard work of many people. However, if one should name a man who made it all possible when it comes to the Croatian part, then it is definitely Orsat Zovko. FFC President and Fight Channel Group owner made a tremendous effort to expand and popularize fighting sports scene in the region. He brought K-1 WGP Finals as well as Glory to Zagreb and now it was all crowned with the UFC. But his business does not thrive on this import. In less than a month Zovko will organize first FFC event in the USA. It will be a memorable moment since it is the first time in history that a Croatian fighting sports promotion is to organize an event in the US. Moreover, the event will be broadcasted on one of the biggest world’s TV network CBS.
In the last couple of years Zovko stubbornly worked on bringing the UFC to Croatia and now all that hard work paid off. First UFC in Zagreb, and hopefully not the last, surpassed all the expectations when it comes to organization, attendance and amazing atmosphere.
“After two years of persuasion and numerous analyses we finally brought the UFC to Croatia. We have invested a lot of hard work during the last few months, but nothing is difficult when you see crowded venue and people cheering in such a great atmosphere. But there is another very important point to make. I’ve been on a lot of UFC events around the world and places where the audience is not quite familiar with this sport. Everybody in the UFC said Croatian audience is very educated when it comes to MMA. If a match is bad, people start booing. And otherwise. People will cheer a good bout. Croatian audience knows how to recognize a good fight,” explained Zovko.
After he brought three fighting sports institutions to Croatia; K-1, Glory and the UFC, it is time for Zovko to do the biggest task of his career. In less than two months FFC will organize its first events in the USA. Having in mind the great demands of the American market, it will surely be a great risk, but the Croatian promotion has a backup and a good deal with CBS.
“Soon we will officially announce the first US FFC event which will be held June 3 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Only seven later on June 10, we already scheduled the second event in Springfield, Massachusetts. Everything is already set, fight card is excellent, and it also contains a number of top UFC fighters. We are preparing all the logistics and this is by far the biggest test for the FFC so far. This is make it or break it. After these two events I go home calm knowing that I tried, or we have done really a huge business. What is also important is that we are one of the few non-American companies that, on its first event in the United States, signed an agreement with CBS Sports. This was the ultimate surprise. Even my American colleagues were positively shocked because no one expected it. CBS is one of the largest TV networks in the world meaning that the first FFC from Daytona Beach will be aired in 57 million households, live, prime time, Friday night at eight o’clock. It will be quite a show, I do not know what else to say,” added FFC President Orsat Zovko.