The 'Fight Night' card event will be held in the Singapore Indoor Stadium
The UFC will return to Singapore on 17 June with a ‘premier’ Chinese star.
According to Bloody Yellow, the event will mark the promotion’s first event in Asia 2017.
The broadcast will be shown through a ‘Fight Night’ card style instead of pay-per-view.
“We’re definitely bringing an exciting fight card to Singapore,” UFC Senior Vice President of International Business, Joe Carr said during the press conference. “This is a very meaningful step not only for Singapore, but for our business in Asia and the region.”
“Singapore is the home of our Asia headquarters and as such has always been a key market in our strategy to grow the UFC brand and the sport of MMA in the ASEAN region.”
The UFC first hosted an event in Singapore in 2014, featuring Tarec Seffiedine, Hyun Gyu Lim, Tatsuya Kawajiri and Max Holloway. The event was held at the Marina Bay Sands, which formed a partnership with the Sands Group. In return, 3 UFC shows were held at the Venetian in Macau.
The June event will be held in a much bigger venue: the Singapore Indoor Stadium. During the press conference, it was also revealed that the UFC plans to host 3 events in Asia in 2017.
Discussing the cancellation of UFC: Manila, Carr admitted to being “a little inconsistent” in the region following recent challenges. Despite past “venue issues” in South Korea, the UFC plans to host an event in Seoul in early 2018.
Carr also discussed cost-cutting measures after the UFC was sold for $4 billion. “There was talk in the media about UFC scaling back internationally, but it’s the complete opposite,” Carr said. “We have a lot more firepower and capacity to take it to the next level.”
The Senior Vice President added that the UFC was working hard for the “last piece of the puzzle” – the first UFC champion from Asia – after breaking into Mainland China. Carr said the company is close to picking up a Chinese star that is UFC-ready.
“We’re on the verge of signing a premier Chinese fighter,” he said. “The fighter that we are going to sign will be able to step in and fight right away. He’s that good.”
Amongst many Asian stars, the UFC currently has Li Jingliang, who is coming off 2 knockout wins. Li is recognised as the best Chinese fighter on their roster.
Other popular and experienced Chinese fighters who are leading the Chinese MMA scene are Zhang Lipeng and Wang Sai. However, both have already been in the UFC so it is unclear whether their description fits Carr’s description.
Other potentials include Sanda Champ Wang Guan, fellow former RUFF champ Meixuan Zhang, or even female strawweight Weili Zhang.