UPDATE: In a surprising turn of events, longtime manager Shu Hirata revealed that the event will no longer take place in Shanghai, and has been moved to the UFC APEX Facility in Las Vegas. No official reason for the change has been given at this time.
The UFC is set to make its long-awaited return to mainland China on December 9th with UFC Fight Night Shanghai. This marks the promotion’s fourth-ever event held in China, and first since 2017.
“Our first UFC Shanghai event back in 2017 was a historic evening that broke records, created lasting memories, and announced UFC’s arrival in mainland China,” said UFC Senior Vice President and Head of Asia Kevin Chang about the organization’s mainland China debut, which RADII attended.
“We can’t wait to put on another incredible show for our passionate fans and showcase the next generation of UFC athletes from the country,” added Chang. “To be able to host this event back where it all started, in this incredible city where we are headquartered and have made significant investments to change the sport, is a fitting way to write the next chapter of the growth of MMA in China.”
Headlining the card will be a bantamweight bout between two of UFC’s top talents - Chris Gutierrez, and China’s own Song Yadong. This main event matchup promises fireworks as the 24-year-old Song looks to continue his meteoric rise through the 135lb rankings.
Song, now training with Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, California, is currently the seventh ranked bantamweight fighter in the UFC, and is one of the most exciting fighters to emerge from China into MMA’s biggest international arena. He was one of the subjects of RADII’s documentary ‘Way of the Warrior,’ which explores the present and future of Chinese MMA.
The co-main event features a middleweight clash between Brazilian jiujitsu specialist Andre Muniz and South Korea’s Jun Yong Park, while other highlights on the card include German striker Nasrat Haqparast taking on Australia’s Jamie Mullarkey at lightweight.
“Endeavor China’s partnership with UFC has been instrumental in the rapid growth of MMA in China, and we are proud to play a role in serving passionate combat sports fans across the country,” said Sam Huang, CEO of local partner Endeavor China.
“Building on our successful debut in Shanghai in 2017, we are excited to bring another sensational event to the city and highlight the promising new wave of UFC athletes representing our country inside the rejuvenated Shanghai Indoor Stadium.”
Image via UFC
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