MMA Weekly reports that the UFC will make it to China in 2012. Dana White indicated that the UFC is closing a deal with the Venetian Macau to hold the event.
The UFC opened offices in Asia in August 2010 and the UFC would like to make inroads into China. It had placed hopes with UFC fighter Zhang Tiequan in hoping that his success would equate to a following in China. Despite Zhang’s defeats in the Octagon he has picked up many fans of the sport. The support for Zhang can be exemplified by the fact that he picked up 100,000 followers to his Weibo (equivalent to Twitter) account after his UFC debut in Australia in 2011. The UFC hopes that there would be a sufficient level of MMA fighters from the country that it could feature on a card in China. The company sees that a market will develop faster if there is local talent to display. It used this strategy in 2002 with the UFC’s first trip to the United Kingdom.
The expansion of the product into Asia is a logical move despite hurdles it must overcome. Lorenzo Fertitta noted two reasons expansion makes sense.