This weekend two high level promotions will put on shows in China. Road FC 32 takes place Saturday in Hunan, while on the same day One Championship hosts “Dynasty of Champions 6” in Anhui.
Several combat sports promotions have tried to make a big push into the county with limited success. Even the UFC tried with their regular trojan horse that is “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show and also promoted three events in Macau. The effort appears to have stalled with the release of the UFC’s Managing Director of Asia, Mark Fischer
Of course, one of the biggest issues with international expansion is finding a homegrown star who can both connect with fans and stay relevant in the non-predetermined world of MMA. Currently there are only 14 Chinese fighters in the Fight Matrix rankings, so finding that star will be difficult. Road FC and One Championship have taken different approaches to this task.
The undercard of Road FC includes a pair of UFC veterans with Chinese heritage, Jumabieke Tuerxun and Albert Cheng. The two combined to go 0-4 in the UFC. In the main event Aori Gele, a 320-pound Chinese Sanda fighter with a 1-2 MMA record, faces Bob Sapp.
During their trips to China, One Championship has appeared to focus on developing local talent. The cards often include tournaments of fighters with only a few professional fights. Assuming the plan is that the cream will eventually rise to the top, fans and promoters better be prepared to wait. Of the nine Chinese fighters on the card only two have more than one professional win.
List of Chinese Fighters in Fight Matrix Rankings
|Fighter||Weight Class||Rank||Last Fought For|
|Weili Zhang||W-Strawweight||39||Top Fighting Championship|
|Heili Alateng||Bantamweight||189||Road FC|
|Handong Kong||Light Heavyweight||202||Art of War|
|Zilong Zhao||Light Heavyweight||212||Road FC|
|Kenan Song||Middleweight||215||Superstar Fight|
|Lipeng Zhang||Welterweight||277||Kunlun Fight|
|Xian Ji||Bantamweight||295||Wu Lin Feng|
|Rijirigala Amu||Featherweight||306||Art of War|
|Wenbo Liu||Middleweight||365||Wu Lin Feng|