UFC announces return to China with UFC Fight Night Shanghai
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, has announced an exciting event for fans in China.
After a four-year hiatus, UFC will stage a live event in China on December 9, 2023. UFC Fight Night Shanghai, along with the finals for Road to UFC season two, will make a comeback to the bustling city.
This marks the second time UFC has hosted an event in Shanghai, the first being UFC Fight Night 122 back in November 2017. The event will be presented by Rio Strong, the fizzy wine brand and an official partner of UFC.
The highly anticipated card will be the fourth UFC event held in mainland China and is set to take place at the newly renovated Shanghai Indoor Stadium. UFC has collaborated with the Shanghai Sports Federation and Xuhui District Sports Bureau.
— UFC (@ufc) November 1, 2023
UFC Fight Night Shanghai is set to feature four intriguing finale bouts for the second season of Road to UFC, a knockout tournament designed to discover Asia’s most promising MMA talents. These finals will take place on the preliminary card in front of a bumper live audience, with the winners to be awarded coveted UFC contracts.
Endeavor China, a subsidiary of the global entertainment and sports giant that owns UFC, is the official promoter of UFC events in Shanghai. In April 2022, Endeavor took full control of the Endeavor China subsidiary.
In 2019, UFC made a significant investment in China by opening its second Performance Institute in Shanghai, with a hefty price tag of around $13 million.
Kevin Chang, UFC’s Senior Vice President and Head of Asia, expressed his excitement about the return to Shanghai.
“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,” Chang said.
“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.
“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.”
China, we're officially on the way! 🇨🇳
— UFC (@ufc) November 1, 2023
Sum Huang, CEO of Endeavor China, also shared his enthusiasm.
“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,” Huang commented.
“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.”
UFC has been making strategic moves to expand its presence globally and this return to China underscores its commitment to bringing high-quality MMA action to fans around the world.