UFC beefs up Chinese presence on its November Shanghai card as it announces the signing of two mainland fighters to its ranks
Main event is Anderson Silva v Kelvin Gastelum slated for November 25 at the Mercedes-Benz Arena
Ahead of its mainland debut on November 25, UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) announced the signing of two more Chinese fighters to its growing roster on Monday.
Strawweights Yanan “Mulan” Wu (8-1) and Yan Xiaonan (7-1, 1 NC) both hail from Liaoning province in northeastern China, and have been signed in time to make their debuts on November’s Shanghai card.
Sanda specialist Wu will make her UFC bow at the UFC Fight Night event against American Gina Mazany in a bantamweight match-up.
Mazany (4-1) fighting out of Las Vegas, Nevada took part in season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter, and is mentored by former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate, who famously beat then bantamweight champion Holly Holm.
The 28-year-old Yan is a well-rounded MMA fighter who counts sanda, muay thai, wrestling and Brazilian ju-jitsu as her specialities. She will take that wealth of skill into the octagon as she faces
Kailin Curran (4-5) from Ewa Beach, Hawaii in Shanghai.
Curran, eager to turn her fortunes around after three straight losses, will be focused on coming away with a decisive win in foreign territory while UFC debutante Yan will draw motivation from the thousands of home fans at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
Also on the Shanghai card will be rising Chinese star Li “The Leech” Jingliang (13-4). The Beijing-native attended the UFC press conference on Monday, and announced that he and his fellow countryman, Wang “The Dongbei Tiger” Guan (18-1-1) will both participate in China’s first ever live UFC event.
Both men are awaiting confirmation of their opponents, which will be announced by the UFC in the coming weeks.
“The response has been tremendous and we are honoured to have such overwhelming support from our loyal fans since we announced our inaugural UFC event in mainland China,” said UFC VP of Asia Pacific Kevin Chang at Monday’s conference.
“This is a historic moment for our company and is set to be one of the most thrilling live events UFC has ever brought to Asia.”
“We’ve been waiting for the right time for UFC to enter the Chinese market and we know that the time is now,” said David He, vice-president of music&live entertainment at WME-IMG China.
“MMA is developing rapidly in China and amassing a large fan base and this is an exciting first step to making the sport a mainstay here.”
The main event on the Shanghai bill will be a hugely anticipated middleweight clash between UFC great Anderson Silva of Brazil and the up-and-coming American Kelvin Gastelum.