HONG KONG: The world’s biggest mixed martial arts organization, the Las Vegas-based UFC, Tuesday announced it had signed one of China’s top mixed martial arts (MMA) stars to boost its recently announced return to Asia.
Wang “The Dongbei Tiger” Guan, 30, has been pencilled in to make his debut with the organisation in Singapore on June 17.
“It’s a dream come true, my ability is approved by the UFC now,” said Wang in a statement.
“This also means the opponents I face next will be the best in the world. This will push me to train even harder.”
The 146lb, 5ft 11in Wang has done the majority of his MMA fighting with RUFF, the Shanghai-based Ranik Ultimate Fighting Federation, where he became featherweight champion and had just one defeat in 17 fights (15-1-1).
He join welterweight Li Jingliang and featherweight Ning Guangyou as the third Chinese fighter on UFC’s books.
UFC Head of International and Content Joe Carr said last week its sights were now firmly fixed on the lucrative Chinese mainland.
“We’re definitely working on our first event in mainland China,” he said in Singapore.
“We’ve had a couple of events in Macau but it’s completely different going to a Beijing or a Shanghai.
“I have nothing to announce but it’s definitely a priority and a focus for the organisation. We were successful in Macau and that’s fine but our ambitions are mainland China.”