According to UFC president Dana White (Pictured), the planet’s premier mixed martial arts promotion will be taking their talents to China in 2012. How soon can fight fans expect to witness an Octagon in the region that Jeremy Lin built?
“Very soon,” White stated following this week’s press conference. “It will happen this year. We’re this close. We are going to do a fight in China.
“We’re talking about doing it in conjunction with The Venetian out there. Imagine the first fight in China, it’s going to be huge.”
The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel is a $2.4 billion property that opened in 2007. The resort is home to CotaiArena, a 15,000-seat indoor venue that’s hosted boxing events in the past.
In January 2010, the UFC partnered with Sohu.com to stream live UFC pay-per-views in China. They also have a television deal in place with China’s Inner Mongolia Television, known as NMTV. The outlet reaches nearly 80 million households and is available to 240 million total viewers.
NMTV dedicates roughly 16 monthly hours to UFC programming, including “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series, “UFC Unleashed” and “UFC All Access.”
Considering China’s population is about 1.34 billion people, it’s clear why UFC brass are adamant about penetrating “The Middle Kingdom.”
If White holds true to his promise, the UFC’s debut in China would have to take place in the last five months of the year. The organization is already fully booked for through July.