Orsat Zovko: UFC booked two dates at the Zagreb Arena
Croatia currently has two globally popular MMA stars. One became famous at the legendary Tokyo's Saitama arena, and the other one is only to reach his prime. Of course, those two fighters are Mirko Filipovic and Stipe Miocic, two members of the UFC Top 15 heavyweight fighters.
Last month Cro Cop spectacularly defeated a man from whom he suffered the worst defeat in his career – Gabriel Gonzaga. On the other hand, last week Miočić defeated legendary Mark Hunt, one of the top fighters with more than 20 years of experience.
Having all that in mind, many wonder whether there is a chance for the UFC to come and hold its event in Croatia. Miočić already said he would love to fight for the title in Zagreb, while this option now seems even more real.
The only one who could organize something like that in Croatia is definitely Fight Channel CEO and FFC President Orsat Zovko. Zovko's team has more than 22 events below their belts including K-1 WGP, Glory 14 and Cro Cop Final Fight.
„I'm trying to bring the UFC to Croatia for two years already. In fact, this is not even questionable anymore, we booked two dates at Zagreb Arena, one for September and one for November but we still didn't reach the deal. If it does not happen this year, it will happen next year for sure,“ said Orsat Zovko to Vecernji List daily.
Is there any chance we could expect UFC title fight in Zagreb, having in mind that Cain Velasquez is from Mexico and Fabricio Werdum from Brazil?
„It is not likely to happen, but it is also not impossible. Especially if the UFC decides to expand to a new market, it would be the best investment to develop a base here and have one event per year. We did well at Arena a couple of times, but UFC also has to invest in this project. It would not be Croatian or regional event, it would be something so much more. From Italy, Germany, Austria, ex-Yugoslavia to Greece.“
Zovko believes no one would ask for the ticket price with Stipe and Mirko on the fight card.
„UFC already undertook bigger risks, some time zones were they had less viewers… But here they would have 15.000 spectators who would not ask whether the ticket is 15 euro more expensive than the others.“
How much would the ticket cost?
„Not less than 35-40 euro, as any other better concert. I think tickets in Krakow cost 50-60 euro,“ explained Zovko.
Would it be ideal stage for Mirko's farewell match?
If I were him or if I was his manager, I would advise him that. Fight with the legendary Minotauro, in which Mirko would be favorite, would be ideal for him. Real champions know when it is time to stop and Mirko could beat the legend and proudly retire.“
Zovko decided not to organize FFC events in Croatia anymore.
„This year we will hold eight events. We are the only ones whose events consist of two parts, eight kickboxing matches and eight MMA matches. At the end of this month we will have an event in Sofia, Bulgaria.“
Is that cost-worthy for a Croatian promoter?
„The moment we cross the border, we have no such problems. For example, in Vienna the FFC tickets cost 35 to 220 euro. When one has a good products that sells in 56 countries when it comes to TV right, everything is easier“, concluded Zovko.