Social Media and the UFC: A Snapshot of China’s MMA Market

22 Oct 2014 4:58 am Posted by Sascha Matuszak

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Fightland’s Sascha Matuszak breaks down the social media numbers for MMA in China. 

People have been trying to bust into the China market for centuries, and out of every 100 carpetbagging barbarians who show up at the door, maybe 1 walks away with the fortune, the stories, and the scars to prove it all. The UFC is one of the hundred today, looking out across the 1.4 billion strong landscape and wondering, how in the hell am I going to make money off these cats? First and foremost, you have to get to know them. In today’s world that means digital marketing, and especially in China, where phones are probably the quickest and most efficient way to reach the younger crowds. Televisions still rule the landscape—people treat the TV like white noise around here, it’s always on—but outside of that complicated and nepotistic ecosystem, social media is really where it’s at…… For more on how the UFC and other MMA organisations are fairing in the world’s most populous nation, including infographics, provided by the Mailman Group check out the Original Story on Fightland.com. Follow Sascha on Twitter. Follow Fightland on Twittter

UFC Fight Night Halifax’s Li Jingliang “Halifax is cold, but on October 4th I’m gonna light shit up”

03 Oct 2014 9:31 pm Posted by jjwakrat

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Li Jingliang in Halifax with Canadian manager David Stern

Chinese fighter Li Jingliang AKA “The Leech” has arrived in Halifax ahead of UFC Fight Night. When asked what he thinks of the city, Li said “Halifax is cold, but on October 4th I’m gonna light shit up”.

The welterweight is taking on The Ultimate Fighter and the Ultimate Fighter Canada contestant Nordine Taleb at the Halifax Metro Centre this Saturday. Li does not seem fazed by the recent announcement that he will be on the Main Card, nor does the prospect of 12,000 screaming Canadians cheering for his Montreal-based and Tristar-trained Taleb. “I will beat him by knockout”, Li exclaims confidently.

The Leech is not your average fighter. He is only the second Chinese national to make it into the Big Show internationally. As such, there is a lot riding on this fight. China is a growing market which the UFC is looking to tap. Could the Leech one day become the the Conor McGregor / Yao Ming of Chinese MMA?  There is a long way to go before MMA in China enters the mainstream, however, a win in Halifax for Li definitely wouldn’t hurt. Li won his first and only outing against David Michaud in a gritty split-decision and has already picked up 130 thousand followers on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. A win against Taleb could see him adding significantly to that number.

The China Top Team product has also been gaining international experience training with Jimmy Gifford and Ricky Lundell.

For more on Li Jingliang and his upcoming fight at UFC54, check out this interview at MMA-in-Asia and “Leech on a Harley” by Fightland’s Sascha Matuszak.

Score UFC Fight Night 54 on the iJudgeFights:MMA app.

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The Leech outside a Canadian Mongolian restaurant with “The Mongolian Wolf”, former UFC fighter Zhang Tequan.

Jon Delos Reyes on flyweight debut at UFC Japan: “Expect a more polished and mature fighter”

16 Sep 2014 1:39 am Posted by jjwakrat

UFC's Jon Delos Reyes, courtesy Jesse Castro, GSPN

UFC’s Jon Delos Reyes, courtesy Jesse Castro, GSPN

Filipino-American UFC fighter Jone “The Heat” Delos (7-3) Reyes makes his second Octagon appearance next month, September 20, 2014 at Saitama Super Arena in Japan for UFC Fight Night – Nelson vs. Hunt against one of Japan’s hottest prospects in Kyoji Horiguchi (13-1).

Delos Reyes, or better known as JDR by his friends, is a finisher. All of his seven wins were either TKO or submission. He has tremendous power behind his punches and sneaky jiu-jitsu.

The 27-year old fighter made his first UFC appearance in January when he faced Dustin Kimura at UFC Fight Night – Saffiedine vs. Lim in Singapore.

“The Heat” was aggressive and effective in the striking department in the early minutes of the fight, rocking his Hawaiian counterpart with couple of solid blows. But Delos Reyes got careless while he was inside Kimura’s guard and was caught by a deep armbar that made him tap at the 2:13 mark of the opening round,

“The UFC jitters are for real. I felt that I got him with some good clean shots and then decided to try to finish him. Dustin is a very technical fighter.”

After his disappointing loss against Kimura, JDR was originally scheduled to fight Richie Vaculik last June for UFC Fight Night in New Zealand. Unluckily, JDR was forced to withdraw from the fight after sustaining a shoulder and elbow injury in training.

After almost two months of healing and waiting, the time has finally arrived for JDR’s UFC comeback as he is set to face Japanese Flyweight sensation Horiguchi, a fighter who is 2-0 in the UFC.

Facing Horiguchi for his second UFC fight is huge for JDR’s career as he is going to fight for the first time at the 125-pound limit and he looks to prove that he is one of the best fighters to look out for in the ultra-competitive flyweight division,

“This will be my toughest test to date. I know Horiguchi is a very tough and skillful fighter. He has great striking and is very aggressive.  I’ve been honing my BJJ and No-gi grappling with my coach Sonny Nohara at SoNo BJJ. I also began my camp at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. I flew to Guam a few weeks before the fight to join my long time striking coach Sonny Chargualaf, as he will fly with me to Tokyo.”

JDR has been working tirelessly on firming his ground game to become a much more dangerous fighter inside the Octagon. Despite of hurdles in his journey, he remains positive and determined to reach his goal one day of becoming a UFC champion,

“I am working on all aspects of MMA. I’m still young in this sport; I have yet to reach my prime.With an ever evolving playing field, I feel that it is very important to constantly improve and evolve as a martial artist.

MMA-in-Asia.com has the full interview.

 

Revolution 2 re-set for September 12th in Seoul, Hong Man-Choi back, Lim Su-Jeong vs boxer Leica

02 Sep 2014 9:48 pm Posted by jjwakrat

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After stumbling across a previous set date, Revolution has now confirmed that its second event will take place on September 12, 2014. Tickets are on sale and athletes have been contracted.

Hong-Man Choi is facing Carlos Toyota in the main event. Choi, a Korean wrestling and kickboxing based fighter, is now walking around at 120kgs and says he feels lighter for it. That’s a substantial difference from his days in K-1 at 160kgs where he holds notable wins over Semmy Schilt, Bob Sapp, and Mighty Mo. Other than that his fame extends to others he’s faced: heel-hooked by Minowaman, arm barred by Fedor, kicked down by Cro Cop. This will be his first MMA match since 2009.

Toyota’s career has been in Japan’s DEEP and Gladiator promotions. Toyota is a BJJ black belt who has won the Pan Ams, Euorpeans, Asians, and All Japans. This will be his first MMA fight since 2011. There’s no need to state the obvious striker-versus-grappler set up for this one.

Female notable standup fighters Lim Su-Jeong of K-1 and Khan fame and boxing stand out Leica will face off. Both are making their MMA debuts, therefore a special ruleset of 30 seconds on the ground limit will be initiated. Lim, known as “Beautiful Fighter, is a cult figure of sorts in Korea, where she appears on television shows.

Leica has fought for both the WBA and WBC lightweight titles, and won the OPBF female lightweight title. Early in her career she defended the WIBA Women’s International Boxing Association featherweight title multiple times to put herself on the map.

Idol Kim Tae-Hyun will make his MMA debut against Daisaku Tanaka from Team Banana who is 40 years old with a record of 3-2.

MMA-in-Asia has the full story.

Full Fight card details after the jump

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Check out the latest UFC JAPAN promo

27 Aug 2014 4:08 am Posted by jjwakrat

Check out the latest promo for UFC Japan. iJF Content partner TFN’s very own Bri Chan makes an appearance. She’s beautiful, funky and in this whole MMA thing, she’s legit. Yeah, she’s a pro fighter (with DEEP JEWELS) too on top of being a reporter. Now Bri has something new to add to her resume, being featured on the UFC’s latest commercial for their upcoming show in Japan this September. UFC Japan will be headlined by a highly anticipated bout between heavyweights Roy Nelson and Mark Hunt. Check out this cool video promo below right now.

Kevin Iole: Why Dana White’s latest power play should be cause for concern

26 Aug 2014 3:51 am Posted by jjwakrat

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It seems last week at UFC Macau, the big man himself, UFC President Dana White, so disagreed with a judge’s score that he yanked him from his duties. Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole weighs in on why this action might not be such a good idea.

LAS VEGAS – Mixed martial arts fans collectively cheered on Saturday when UFC president Dana White yanked Howard Hughes as a judge after he was unhappy with Hughes’ work in the first two bouts at a fight card Saturday in Macau, China.

This, though, was a decision that should have been booed, and loudly, even if one believes that Hughes clearly blew both of the first two bouts.

The UFC self regulates in jurisdictions that have no athletic commission or governing body, such as Macau. In those cases, the UFC generally appoints Marc Ratner, its vice president for regulatory affairs and, notably, the highly respected former executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission, to run such shows.

Ratner runs those shows under Nevada rules, and he appoints the judges, the referees and runs the drug testing.

But Ratner wasn’t in Macau on Saturday…..

Yahoo Sports has the full story 

Video: Ronda Rousey was going to be a bartender for life, “then I saw Carano vs Kedzie”

21 Aug 2014 11:00 pm Posted by jjwakrat

Ronda Rousey, the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion and listed as one of the top pound-for-pound MMA fighters in the world, joined CEO Dana White’s entourage to Macau for UFC FN 48.

In an exclusive video interview, MMA-in-ASIA spoke with Rousey about her incredible judo career, her earliest recollections of MMA, and prospective opponents she might face in the future.

On her first experience with judo as a young girl:

“I took to it right away. I had the time of my life.”

On her first thoughts of going into MMA:

“After the Beijing Olympics, I decided that I was going to be a bartender for the rest of my life. And I was trying to force myself to be content with that. I’d seen Gina Carano fight Julie Kedzie when I was still training for the Beijing Olympics… The guys I was watching it with were so in awe of her… What?! I can do that! I can beat those chicks!”

For the full story, including more interview highlights Check out MMA-in-Asia.com

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Fightland on China’s MMA Origins

10:43 pm Posted by jjwakrat

Art-of-WarCredit: Fightland

As we head into this weekend’s UFC Macau, Fightand’s Sascha Matuzak brings another dispatch from the Middle Kingdom detailing China’s MMA Origins.

“Saturday’s UFC Fight Night in Macao features a half dozen of China’s best MMA fighters. But these guys are just one small step removed from the very first four Chinese to ever train and compete in mixed martial arts. Those four, Zhang Tiequan, Ao Hailin, Dai Shuanghai and He Peng, weren’t even the best Sanda fighters of their generation.

But when Chinese-American Andy Pi went looking for Chinese MMA fighters for a promotion he was putting together, these were the guys the sports universities would release to try out mixed martial arts.”

Vice’s Fightland has the full story.

PIC: Cung Le is looking JACKED and RIPPED heading into UFC Macau

19 Aug 2014 1:43 am Posted by jjwakrat

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We’re not sure how he did it, but we definitely want to know how a 42 year old man can look like this (whether we’re willing to do what Le does is another story though). Cung Le will be facing Michael Bisping this weekend at UFC and he looks more than ready to take on the Brit. Le’s been training in Vietnam for the past few weeks and it’s pretty apparent that whatever he’s doing, he’s doing it right. Check out the most recent pic of Cung Le. Who needs TRT right?

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Let’s Get It On! Again…

17 Aug 2014 11:02 pm Posted by jjwakrat

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It’s been a long time since we saw veteran referee John McCarthy officiating in Las Vegas. While he has made appearances inside the Octagon in other jurisdictions, The Las Vegas commission has effectively blacklisted him since he made public comments about way back in 2007. Big John has spoken out against commissioner Keith Kizer since. Bloody elbow’s Mookie Alexander writes:

“Let’s get it on! Popular MMA referee John McCarthy will be officiating UFC events in Nevada once again, pending his official relicensing on August 21st.Assuming nothing changes between now and August 21st, you’ll soon be seeing Big John McCarthy officiating Las Vegas-based shows once more. According to a report from Yahoo’s Kevin Iole, The highly respected veteran referee, who hasn’t officiated any events in Nevada since 2007, will be relicensed on August 21st at the next Nevada State Athletic Commission meeting. He’ll also be assigned to work on several fights at UFC 178, which is the promotion’s next trip to Las Vegas.”

Bloody Elbow has the full story.

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