Will the UFC Invasion of China Sink the Rising Asian MMA Market?


This UFC report is courtesy of MMAWeekly.com official content partner Bleacher Report:

UFC on Fuel TV 6 in China PosterIf the UFC’s presence in Macau (along with Hong Kong, one of the two administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China) is supposed to sound the death knell for the burgeoning Asian MMA scene, someone forgot to tell Chris Pollak.

As the Managing Director of Legend Fighting Championship, it’s his company the UFC is ostensibly in town to compete with. It’s his fighters the Borg-like UFC machine will attempt to assimilate as they continue the process of siphoning off the best fighters from across the globe. And it’s his show the UFC will try to make look hopelessly small time.

But to hear Pollak tell it, the UFC’s arrival on the scene is a reason to cheer, not a consequence to fear.

“We are excited, and are taking the whole Legend team out to Macau to watch the event,” Pollak told Bleacher Report. “We wouldn’t be in this industry if we were not fans. We also wouldn’t be in this industry if we didn’t think we could coexist. We are building a platform here that is quite different, and meant to complement, not compete with, all of the other great MMA events out there.”

Other regional promoters haven’t greeted the UFC’s presence in Asia with such equanimity. Jung Mun-hong, President of South Korea’s leading MMA group Road FC, told The Korea Times that the UFC was “cheap,” criticizing the promotion for signing away their champion Kang Kyung-ho:

They use their reputation to recruit talent, while the talent-builders like us get nothing…Do you know how much of our resources we spend to discover and develop talent? It was a great loss for us. However, Kang really wanted to go, so I let him, even though UFC didn’t pay anything to our organization.

Road FC may have reason, above and beyond the loss of Kyung-ho, to be concerned about the UFC’s incursion onto their turf. Historically Japan and South Korea are both very strong markets for MMA and the UFC intends to capitalize on them.

For more, read the rest of this article by Jonathan Snowden at BleacherReport.com

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