UFC out to conquer capital
2018-08-06 14:42:00

Li Jingliang of China celebrates after his knockout victory over Zak Ottow in their UFC welterweightbout in Shanghai last fall. BRANDON MAGNUS / GETTY IMAGES

UFC on Sunday confirmed that its first-ever fight card in Beijing will take place on Nov 24 at Cadillac Arena.

Following last year's sellout of its Chinese mainland debut at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, the world's premier mixed martial arts organization is primed to deliver a repeat performance in the capital.

Last fall, UFC and WME/IMG China jointly launched the show that attracted 15,128 fans in Shanghai. The main event saw No 4-ranked contender Kelvin Gastelum take just 2:30 to KO former UFC middleweight champ Michael Bisping. On the undercard, Chinese fighters won five of the other 11 bouts.

In recent years UFC has been working to identify and nurture the talent of top-tier Chinese athletes, who have shown great strength, skill and determination to succeed inside the octagon, such as Li Jingliang and Wang Guan.

In 2017, UFC launched a fighter development program that sent eight of China's most promising prospects to train in the US for six months. Song Yadong, Song Kenan and Liu Pingyuan signed with UFC following their excellent performances in the program.

"China is the next frontier for the growth of UFC and the sport of mixed martial arts, and this market is paramount to our success internationally," said Kevin Chang, UFC's vice-president for Asia-Pacific.

"We are excited to bring our next live event to the Chinese capital and show the world just how far we have come. Our loyal fans in China demand nothing but the best, and this is set to be a night to remember."

UFC will be working with WME|IMG China, a subsidiary of Endeavor, to deliver the live event.

"We are excited to once again bring UFC - the world's premier professional MMA organization - to Chinese audiences," said WME/IMG China CEO Michael Ma.

"After the great success of last year's event in Shanghai, we are happy to to see MMA's popularity is quickly rising in China, and we look forward to bringing our growing fan base the best that UFC has to offer."

General Tire will once again serve as primary sponsor.

Mitchell Golledge, head of marketing for RE PLT Tires APAC said: "The General Tire brand speaks to consumers that possess an adventurous spirit and who believe that 'Anywhere is Possible.' We are thrilled to take this next adventure to Beijing, a city where tradition meets the contemporary."

A limited number of discounted early bird tickets in riser categories for UFC Fight Night Beijing are on now available via Damai.cn and 247tickets.com.

UFC, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, boasts more than 284 million fans worldwide and has produced over 440 events in 22 countries since its inception in 1993.

Source:China Daily Editor:Hiram