The UFC has announced they will continue their mission of global expansion, this time landing a deal in China; home to more than 1.3 billion people.
“Breaking into a market with a population of over 1.3 billion is both a testament to the growth of our sport and a long-term challenge we are excited to undertake,” Lorenzo Fertitta said in a press release. “This is just the first of many world-class fights we plan to hold over the coming years in China, one of the birthplaces of martial arts. The world-class CotaiArena in Macau is an ideal place to start this journey.”
Recently, the UFC went to Japan for UFC 144 in Saitama, Japan in February. As of June 22, 2012, UFC on FX: Maynard vs. Guida, there have been 208 UFC events held in 79 cities, within eleven countries.
The UFC has been actively trying to grow their audience in China over the past several years. They’ve acquired 500 million viewers via online internet portals and 450 million through television broadcasted through provincial broadcasters.
The event will be held on November 10, 2012 in Macau, a region of China located off the mainland’s southern coast, at a 15,000-seat entertainment venue called the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel’s CotaiArena. No announcements yet as to who will be headlining this event. One week following this event is the scheduled return of welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre to Montreal. This announcement means back-to-back big weekends for the UFC.
When entering a country for the first time there is always the desire to give the fans what they want and put on a great show. There is only one fighter currently in the UFC who is from China, featherweight Tiequan Zhang, who is one of a growing group of professional mixed martial artists in mainland China. He is one of several fighters that are likely candidates to be added to the Macau card.