The man behind Desert Force, Zaid Mirza caught up with ArabsMMA to discuss, among other things, UFC’s return to the Middle East, and his ambitions to tour every major Arab City. The UFC recently announced that they would expand further into the Middle East, holding more events there over the course of the next two years in accordance with their partnership with FLASH Entertainment – a Middle East-based promotional company, which holds a 10% stake in the UFC. With the UFC spreading its wings and holding events in the Middle East, it would be fantastic to see UFC world titles contested in these growing markets to give the fans in those regions a real boost.
We have been building and creating the MMA industry in the Middle East for the past decade. It’s great to have the UFC back in the region. The UFC is the best thing that could have happened to Desert Force as they are very professional and will only raise the level of MMA unlike other organizations that didn’t market the sport properly. Their force will stimulate regional sponsors and bring very big followers to the region. We in the industry have felt how hard it is to secure solid sponsors as the sport is relatively new to the region. We have been trying to polish the image and this step should only help
us to keep growing as a sport.
Desert Force is one of the very few and unique organizations in the world on free to air Television with such a huge footprint as MBC. We are very proud of such a partnership where we are able to create local Arab heroes who are worthy of competition on any international stage. The Desert Force format is toned down to cater to a region where Mixed Martial Arts is a new sport.
Desert Force CEO, Zaid Mirza has made it clear that there’s no stopping them by announcing that their next event will take place in Bahrain in March. This is another huge step for the Premiere Arab promotion. The event in Bahrain will ever establish and cement their domination over other promotions in the Region, having previously had an event in the United Arab Emirates.
2014 plans for Desert Force is to go into every major Arab City offering Live shows where regional fans can actually feel the brand. Our tight schedule in the second quarter pre Ramadan include three live events and the filming of Season Two Al Academiya. We still have Saudi Arabia, Qatar and head back to the UAE in 2014 as well as a major show in North Africa. The Kingdom of Bahrain has been extremely welcoming and we plan to include it to our yearly calendar as a frequent Desert Force destination. You will also see many new formats, specifically catered for the Arab region.