A strong business is all about growth – or at least the illusion of growth – and nothing would do more for the UFC in that regard than to tap into a market of billions of potential customers. Which is why the UFC has been trying to break into China all these years, and why UFC Fight Night 141 is going down in Beijing this weekend. (It’s also why the UFC just opened up a Performance Center over there, too.)
All of China’s MMA stars are on the card. There’s the hard-hitting Li Jingliang, there’s the tough Song Yadong, there’s… well, really, those two are about the only Chinese fighters who’ve shown any kind of skill above the regional MMA-level.
But hey, the floundering Francis Ngannou will be rematching with the steadily rising Curtis Blaydes, and even Alistair Overeem is found a slot in the co-main event.
Look, these throwaway cards meant for China and which air at 3am here in the States are important. Because if just a tiny percentage of the population gets into the sport, then that opens the door for more athletes to give the sport a try. And odds are, there’s at least one Chinese version of Conor McGregor just waiting to be discovered.