SHANGHAI, CHINA – UFC®, the world’s premier Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) organization, held a press conference today with its main event stars, Anderson “The Spider” Silva and Kelvin Gastelum, in front of an audience of media and lucky fans. Brazil’s Silva will face rising middleweight contender Gastelum in what will be one of the most thrilling battles the Octagon® has seen in Asia. UFC Fight Night® Shanghai: Silva vs. Gastelum presented by General Tire takes place at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Shanghai on November 25, 2017.
Mr. Guohao Yang, Director of Secretatriate of Shanghai Sports Federation, and Director of Shanghai Sports Event Management Center, said, “We are delighted that the UFC®, the world’s premier Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) organization, chose Shanghai to make its debut in mainland China, offering the inaugural live event to Chinese fans.”
The press conference marks the organization’s second promotional tour in as many months, giving media the opportunity to ask UFC Fight Night Shanghai’s headline stars questions about their upcoming clash in the Octagon. In addition to bringing in Silva and Gastelum, UFC also today announced the signing of two athletes from China, strawweights Yanan “Mulan” Wu (8-1, fighting out of Liaoning, China) and Xiaonan Yan (7-1, 1 NC, fighting out of Liaoning, China).
China’s Sanda specialist Wu will be facing American Gina Mazany in a bantamweight matchup, with Wu looking to impress in her UFC debut. Mazany (4-1, fighting out of Las Vegas, NV, USA), who participated on Season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter, is mentored by former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha “Cupcake” Tate and will be looking to upset Wu’s ambitions for a home victory.
The 28-year-old Yan is a well-rounded MMA fighter who counts Sanda, Muay Thai, wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu as her specialities. She will bring this wealth of skill into the Octagon as she faces Kailin Curran (4-5, fighting out of Ewa Beach, HI, USA). Curran, eager to turn her fortunes around, will be focused on coming away with a decisive win in foreign territory while UFC debutante Yan will be drawing motivation from the thousands of home fans in the arena and watching around the world in order to stop the American.
Rising star Li “The Leech” Jingliang (13-4, fighting out of Beijing, China) joined today’s UFC Fight Night® Shanghai: Silva vs. Gastelum presented by General Tire press conference, and the welterweight announced to media and fans that he and his fellow countryman, Wang “The Dongbei Tiger” Guan (18-1-1, fighting out of Dongbei, China) 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 over the coming weeks.
“The response has been tremendous and we are honored to have such overwhelming support from our loyal fans since we announced our inaugural UFC event in mainland China,” UFC VP of Asia Pacific Kevin Chang said. “This is a historic moment for our company and 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, 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.”
In conjunction with UFC, Sina Sports launched a nationwide fitness competition to discover China’s first UFC Octagon Girl. The interest and entries from beautifully athletic Chinese women was so strong that UFC has named not one but two women to represent China on November 25, at the Mercedes Benz Arena: Wang Jing Jing from Beijing and Pan Xiao from Suzhou. They will be working UFC Fight Night® Shanghai: Silva vs. Gastelum presented by General Tire along with Filipina Red Dela Cruz and Australian Kristie Pearson.
Tickets for UFC Fight Night Shanghai presented by General Tire are selling fast, with “Super Fan”, “Hollywood”, P1, P2, P3 and P7 completely sold out. Available ticket categories are P4 RMB880, P5 RMB680, P6 RMB480 and can be purchased through Damai.cn, though quantities are very limited.
In the months leading up to the event, top UFC athletes will be on hand to meet and interact with fans in Shanghai, Beijing and other cities. In August, UFC brought its featherweight champion Max Holloway to Shanghai to meet fans and lead a series of MMA seminars. Fans can also expect a packed schedule during fight week in late November as UFC brings it’s weigh-in and Fan Experience to the Mercedes Benz Arena, including experiential and partner branded booths from November 24 to 25, 2017. Fight week will also see appearances from guest fighters, community events and exclusive VIP experiences. More information on upcoming athlete tours and fight week activities will be announced soon via the UFC’s social platforms Wechat: UFC终极格斗锦标赛(ufcofficial) and Weibo: @UFC终极格斗冠军赛 and www.ufc.cn