UFC to debut in China in November

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will hold its first fight night in mainland China later this year, the organisation announced on Sunday.

The inaugural event is scheduled to take place at Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz Arena on November 25.

“We anticipate an exciting future in the China market,” said Joe Carr, UFC senior vice-president.

The event in is expected to see a mixture of international and Chinese national fighters.

UFC, acquired by WME-IMG for $4bn last year, is attempting to make inroads into the Chinese market, which is dominated by rivals including Singapore’s One Championship and local tournament Kunlun Fight.

The organisation estimates that TV audiences have helped it build a fanbase of around 40 million in China.

As part of the build up to the event, several UFC athletes will travel to Shanghai and other cities to meet fans. UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway is one of the first fighters confirmed to taking part in the tours and will be in China between August 3 and 4.

UFC said that it has the world’s biggest reach for pay-per-view events, reaching 1.1 billion in 157 countries.

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