Added by Monique Robinson on November 2, 2012
UFC, the world’s most high-profile mixed martial arts competition , debut in China on November 10 in an event featuring a fight between former UFC champion Rich Franklin and Vietnam-born American Cung Le at the Cotai Arena at The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel on November 10.
“Our debut in Greater China is a huge milestone in UFC history and demonstrates the immense popularity and acceptance of the sport on a global stage,” said Mark Fischer, UFC Asia managing director.
“This is certainly one of the single biggest sporting events to ever hit the Hong Kong and Macao area and the global attention this event will receive pays tribute to the birthplace of martial arts. We are honored to hold our first event in China at the world-class Cotai Arena in Macao.”
“We are proud to bring UFC to Greater China for the very first time,” said Edward Tracy, president and CEO of Sands China Ltd, the venue operator.
“Our Cotai Arena is the top venue of its kind in southern China and is the ideal place for UFC. We welcome the world’s most elite athletes to Macao to demonstrate the ultimate in sportsmanship at the venue.”
Le has become a superstar in Asia, especially in China, due to his mastery of Sanshou (wushu in Chinese) and his film career, which includes Hong Kong kung fu movies Bodyguards and Assassins and the yet-tobeGrandmasters, directed by Wong Kar Wai.
Cung Le will take on Rich Franklin, a former high school teacher who has faced some of the top fighters in the UFC over the course of his 13-year career, with wins over Chuck Liddell, Wanderlei Silva, Matt Hamill and Yushin Okami. Franklin has never faced a striker like Le, whose well-known attacks often devastate opponents.
The event will also feature Zhang Tiequan – China’s first UFC fighter to enter the octagon.
Zhang has already won in the octagon against Jason Reinhardt in a fight that was received more than 100 million online visits in China.
Since arriving in Asian market in 2010, UFC has partnered with multiple media organizations that include Guangdong tv and Shanghai Media Group to broadcast its live events and highlights- reaching an audience of more than 4.5 million viewers across the country.