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UFC in China is Happening This Year, Including The Ultimate Fighter

Posted on by Ken Pishna

UFC and Chinese Flag (China)The UFC officially opened offices in Asia in August 2010 when they hired former NBA executive Mark Fischer to spearhead the efforts overseas.

It’s taken them a little time to lay the groundwork there, but it appears the promotion’s Chinese debut is just around the corner, and they’re going all-in.

“We’re going to do a fight in China. So imagine our first fight in China, we’re talking about doing it in conjunction with the Venetian out there,” said UFC president Dana White just a few short months ago. “Imagine the first fight in China; it’s going to be huge.”

White on Tuesday confirmed to MMAWeekly.com that the UFC will make its debut in China sooner than you might think, and that expansion there will take on much the same approach as elsewhere.

“We are going to China this year, that’s already happening,” said the UFC’s head honcho.

“We’re doing an Ultimate Fighter there too; that’s all gonna happen.”

White fell short of providing a date or other details for the UFC’s first event in China. It’s also premature for most of the details about the first TUF China, but the UFC is used to moving fast.

Once the dominoes start to fall, expect the promotion to go full steam ahead into the Chinese market.


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  • http://www.bloodyfists.net/forums/index.php SHORT_BUS

    Big market but I’m not too optimistic.

  • BizzleZX10R

    ..Are there any Chinese UFC fighters?

    • RubeKegal

      Tiequan Zhang, that is if he didn’t get cut, I’m not sure…..oh yeah and Cheick Kongo.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001911218610 ryanbriese

    Interesting concept. I just wonder if there are any Chinese fighters ready to compete at that leve.

  • sc_9708d24b3c10157559761863c20c79f0

    Im Chinese and no, Chinese fighters are not ready to compete at UFC level, but maybe in the future. Majority of the Chinese population dont know about MMA and don’t really care. We’re way too behind in this sport.

    • silent_nick

      But I thought all you guys did martial arts and fly and throw fireballs and shit?

      • p3ezy

        dont be so racist. thats japan

      • sc_9708d24b3c10157559761863c20c79f0

        lol yeah not many people throw fireballs and shit anymore. people start throwing fits and shit nowadays

    • Scratchface

      Not trying to discredit you or anything, but you being Chinese doesn’t automatically give you the credibility to speak on behalf of an entire population. Unless you’re Mao LOL

      I don’t post on this site very often, but just find your support for your statement incredibly weak and one the most annoying things people tend to do. “I am Chinese” therefore I know for a fact everything that Chinese people are interested in and whether or not there exist any capable fighters. If you’re going to make a “I am a” statement go to reddit, but at least make it interesting and try to stick to a topic you actually have solid knowledge on.

      I guess everyone is entitled to their opinion, and your opinion may definitely have some ground. The majority of the Chinese population may not know about MMA, but seeing as the UFC is already making plans to break into that market, I’m pretty sure their analyst have done enough research to justify this move. Not sure because i don’t work for the UFC, but I think it’s a pretty safe bet to assume they did some research.

      Some facts that are present with the slightest amount of research or understanding about China as a market for MMA, the Venetian Macao/Macau (both are acceptable for the sake of this post, I’ll use Macao just to avoid the little red dots) is a major casino and one of the largest casinos in the world.

      Macao is a prime tourist destination in Asia. The only place where gambling is legal in China. Macao rakes in 5 times more gaming revenue than Vegas.

      Prominent MMA promotions that operate in China include, Legend FC and AOW. Both lack in international recognition when compared to the UFC, but have still been able to put on successful events. Hong Kong based Legend FC regularly puts on shows at the Asia World Expo HK, and at the City of Dreams casino resort in Macao. AOW based in Beijing was able to secure a broadcasting deal in China that would give them access to over 200 million viewers.

      China has a rich history in martial arts, which may open MMA to many new and modified styles of fighting that have yet to be seen.Not to mention the availability of world class schools for proven fighting styles that have successfully been adapted into mma such as Muay Thai, Jiujitsu, boxing, wresting, and judo. Champions and world class instructors from across the world have made the move to China to open schools or training facilities to tap into this enormous market.

      Whether or not China has any fighters that fight at a UFC caliber is unknown, but that’s kind of the point of doing the Ultimate Fighter, no? The facilities and the trainers are available, so i guess time will tell.

      • NLBD

        Something need to be clarified:
        1. Saying “I am Chinese so I know better” can sometimes be absolutely legit, since not everyone can read/listen Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese, Haka….etc). Chinese people do enjoy more information within China.

        2. Macao was colonized by Portugal more than 300 years and it did not experience most of the crucial historical events including Democratic movement of KMT, civil wars and culture revolution; using Macao as a comparison with other Chinese providence shows lack of knowledge and ignorance of another culture: it’s equivalent as saying “Oh! Vegas has lots of hookers and legal gambling! Must be the same for every state in America!”

        3. China has a long history of martial arts, true; but when the majority of the population still believe that Jet Li can beat the shit out of white dudes 3 times larger than him including people like Cain Velasquez or other pro. athletes and Donnie Yan in Ip Man is the best P4P fighter ever been in the history, an organization like UFC has some marketing work to do. Legend FC and other orgs still struggle to survive without going for plausible nationalism; if you can understand what the commentators are saying, you’ll realize how uneducated and ignorant the audience are, they just want to hear something very “kung-fu” like and Chinese-friendly.

        Of course, you wouldn’t know no shit about it, cause you neither know Chinese or ever did any research, poser.

      • NLBD

        Something need to be clarified:
        1. Saying “I am Chinese so I know better” can sometimes be absolutely legit, since not everyone can read/listen Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese, Haka….etc). Chinese people do enjoy more information within China.

        2. Macao was colonized by Portugal more than 300 years and it did not experience most of the crucial historical events including Democratic movement of KMT, civil wars and culture revolution; using Macao as a comparison with other Chinese providence shows lack of knowledge and ignorance of another culture: it’s equivalent as saying “Oh! Vegas has lots of hookers and legal gambling! Must be the same for every state in America!”

        3. China has a long history of martial arts, true; but when the majority of the population still believe that Jet Li can beat the shit out of white dudes 3 times larger than him including people like Cain Velasquez or other pro. athletes and Donnie Yan in Ip Man is the best P4P fighter ever been in the history, an organization like UFC has some marketing work to do. Legend FC and other orgs still struggle to survive without going for plausible nationalism; if you can understand what the commentators are saying, you’ll realize how uneducated and ignorant the audience are, they just want to hear something very “kung-fu” like and Chinese-friendly.

        Of course, you wouldn’t know no shit about it, cause you neither know Chinese or ever did any research.

      • DakotaCensus

        In general I have to agree. If you watch Sanda (散打) on local TV here, which is most of the fighting that I see broadcast, you don’t see a very high caliber of professional fighter. You make a good point though, that the UFC has to start somewhere, and an Ultimate Fighter China may be a great way to train Chinese fighters for MMA.

        Hopefully the UFC won’t be holding events in Macao or Hong Kong though, in a way that is not really the China market. A big event in Beijing or Shanghai, broadcast in mandarin would have a much bigger impact.

  • jasondecipher

    Damn Scratchface could anyone have explained it better? You killed that chino cochino

  • http://www.facebook.com/joey.chong99 Demonic Angel

    This is big news for fight fans in China. Hopefully this exposes MMA to new Chinese fans and get more Chinese bred fighters into MMA and eventually the UFC. People don’t realize that China already has it’s own MMA promotions such as Art of War (AOW), Legend FC and RUFF. The sport is growing in China and it can become the next big thing. Dana White and his crew know they got to tap in the Chinese Market and invest because the potential is huge. I am Chinese too.