The Ultimate Fighting Championship today officially unveiled the highly anticipated fight card ahead of the organization’s first-ever event in greater China. UFC MACAO: FRANKLIN VS LE, headlined by an epic middleweight fight pitting former champion Rich Franklin against former Strikeforce champion Cung Le, is set to take place at the CotaiArenaTM, the 15,000 seat venue at The Venetian® Macao-Resort- Hotel in Macao, on Saturday, November 10.
Vietnam-born American Cung Le, has become a superstar in Asia – especially in China, due to his mastery of Sanshou and his skyrocketing film career, including famous Hong Kong Kungfu movies including Bodyguards and Assassins and the yet-to-be-released movie Grandmasters, directed by Wong KarWai.
Le will take on Rich “Ace” Franklin, a former high-school teacher, who has faced the best talent of the UFC over the course of his 13-year career, notching wins against Chuck Liddell, Wanderlei Silva, Matt Hamill and Yushin Okami but has never faced a striker like Le, whose dynamic attack and flashy kicks dazzle fans and devastate opponents.
UFC Macao will also feature South Korean MMA pioneer Stun Gun Dong Hyun Kim, in a pivotal welterweight bout against Brazil’s Paulo Thiago. A light heavyweight battle pitting unbeaten Bulgarian Stanislav Nedkov against Brazilian knockout artist Thiago
Silva, and befitting of the occasion, the first UFC event in China will feature the first Chinese fighter ever to compete in the OctagonTM, Tiequan Zhang. Known as “The Wolf” for his ferocious style, Zhang has already won in the Octagon against Jason Reinhardt,
a fight that received more than 100 million online hits in China.
The above-mentioned fighters: Le, Franklin, Kim and Zhang, all appeared at a press conference today at the newly launched Epic MMA Club in Hong Kong. UFC AsiaManaging Director Mark Fischer unveiled the complete card and discussed theupcoming event to be held at the CotaiArenaTM.
“Our debut into Greater China is a huge milestone in the UFC history and demonstrates the immense popularity and acceptance of the sport on a global stage,” said Fischer. “This is certainly one of the single biggest sporting events to ever hit the Hong Kong and Macao area and the global attention this event will receive pays tribute to the birthplace of martial arts. We are honored to hold our first event in China at the world-class CotaiArena in Macau.”
“Sands China is proud to bring UFC to greater China for the very first time,” says Edward Tracy, President and Chief Executive Officer, Sands China Ltd. “It’s another big step toward making Macao a world centre of tourism and leisure. Our CotaiArena is the top venue of its kind in southern China and is the ideal place for UFC. Ranked by Pollstar, it has hosted the world’s and Asia’s biggest names in music, sports and awards shows. We welcome the world’s most elite athletes to Macao to demonstrate the ultimate in sportsmanship at CotaiArena and Sands China continues its commitment – making Macao the number one destination in Asia for world-class entertainment.”
UFC MACAO: FRANKLIN VS LE will air live on numerous UFC broadcast partners in Asia and globally, as well as FUEL TV in North America on Saturday, November 10.
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