In a country with some of the oldest martial arts traditions known to man, does mixed martial arts (MMA) stand a fighting chance? Seems that UFC is taking their chances with a massive, 9,000-square meter training facility, which just opened in Shanghai this past week.
This new facility is three times bigger than their Las Vegas flagship institute. UFC announced last year at a press conference in Beijing that it would be “the world’s largest, state-of-the-art MMA training and development facility” that aims to train up some of China and greater Asia’s top fighting talent in the Octagon.
Here’s a tour of the new facilities:
Though in China, many still see MMA as a “violent bloodbath,” the nation is producing some of the fastest-climbing (and notoriously outspoken) fighters in the world.
Female fighter Zhang Weili recently came crashing into the UFC’s Top 10, indisputably making her one of the best MMA fighters in China. After her nineteenth straight victory at UFC 235 against veteran fighter Tecia Torres, she’s now ranked seventh in the world in her category.
Is this Female Fighter China’s Best Hope for a UFC Title?
And amateur MMA fighter Xu Xiaodong has made it his mission to take down fraudulent “kung fu masters” in the ring, one match at a time. His highly publicized pummel-fests have caused a lot of stir on Chinese social media.
Chinese MMA Fighter Obliterates Another Kung Fu Master, Incites Further Anger
Through their new Shanghai base camp and this crop of homegrown fighters, UFC is banking on a growing fan following for mixed martial arts. Which begs the question…
Is China Ready to Embrace MMA?
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