Chinese MMA fans, rejoice! The UFC is now set to make its long-awaited debut in China with an event scheduled for November 25th in our own fair city of Shanghai.
Not much is currently known about that event, which will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Arena (formerly, the Shanghai World Expo Cultural Center) in Pudong; however, it is likely to be a UFC Fight Night and prominently feature many Asian fighters, including ones born in China.
This event is a long-time coming for the world’s biggest mixed martial arts league, which has been trying for years to expand its reach in the Middle Kingdom. So far, the closest the UFC has managed to get is Macau, where they’ve held three events since 2012. However, the league has still managed to win fans with help from streaming partners in China and now claims nearly 40 million fans in the country.
“We are always asked when the UFC will be making its debut in mainland China,” UFC Senior Vice President of International and Content Joe Carr said. “We are honored to confirm that Shanghai will be the home of the very first live UFC event in mainland China, and to say that we are excited is an understatement. The entire organization is looking forward to making history this year.”
Mixed martial arts has been in the headlines quite a bit this year in China thanks to the efforts of promoter Xu Xiaodong who has waged war against the masters of traditional Chinese martial arts who Xu believes are just a bunch of phonies, famously knocking one Tai Chi “master” out in just 10 seconds back in April.
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