The world’s leading MMA promotion company, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), is set to debut in Shenzhen this summer, marking the third consecutive year the company has hosted an event on the Chinese mainland.
The event, which is being called UFC Fight Night Shenzhen, will take place at Longgang district’s Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center on August 31, according to an official announcement by the UFC. The stadium that is playing host to the fights is no newcomer to overseas sporting events, having previously hosted both NBA and NHL games.
While the UFC has yet to reveal a main event, speculation is rife that female Chinese fighter Zhang Weili will step into the Octagon for the headlining bout.
“We continue to add new cities in China to our global calendar of events, and we are excited to see the momentum that is steadily building,” said Kevin Chang, UFC senior vice president for Asia-Pacific, according to Forbes. He added that the UFC views China as the most important market for growth.
As mentioned above, this is not the promotion’s first foray into the Chinese market. The UFC has previously held events in Shanghai, Beijing and Macau, and is set to open a RMB89.7-million training center in Shanghai next month.
The state-of-the-art center will be three times the size of UFC’s original, Las Vegas-based facility and will feature two Octagon cages, a boxing ring and high-quality equipment. Additionally, it will be staffed by a team of experts to help train China’s answer to Conor McGregor and Georges St-Pierre.
[Cover image via UFC]