Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has some major plans for China – and those plans now include Shanghai. UFC is set to open the world’s largest mixed martial arts center in Shanghai, Inquirer reports. The massive training and development center will cost RMB89.7 million (USD13 million) and is set to open in 2019.
The center in Shanghai will be three times the size of UFC’s original, Las Vegas-based center. It will feature two Octagon cages, a boxing ring and state-of-the-art equipment. The facility will also be staffed with a team of experts to help train fighters.
Part of UFC’s intent is to capitalize on the momentous rise of mixed martial arts in China. According to UFC chief operating officer Lawrence Epstein, there are currently 10 Chinese fighters on the UFC roster, though he wants to see this number increase tenfold in the future, Inquirer reports.
Epstein is also eager to invest in the Chinese market, as leagues like the NHL and NBA have done in the past.
Kevin Chang, vice-president of UFC in Asia-Pacific, expressed his support for the MMA center, calling it “a defining moment for UFC in Asia.”
[Main image via djv69sg/Flickr]