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UFC Announces ‘TUF: China’; Tryouts Slated for This Summer

(Sometimes, relevancy is not of primary importance.)

The UFC is officially making a serious and sustained play to break into the Chinese market. According to a report from SB Nation, tryouts for the first Chinese edition of The Ultimate Fighter reality competition show will take place this summer.

“According to the Chinese announcement, this edition of TUF will be broadcast on LiaoNing TV, and tryouts will be open for professional featherweight, lightweight, and welterweight fighters of Chinese descent, who can speak the language.

“Tryouts won’t just happen in mainland China, and it will instead be held on different countries to get most of the talent available. These multiple tryouts will happen on July 21 at the Metropark Lido Hotel in Beijing, July 25 at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore, and on August 3 at the Venetian Hotel in Macau,” they reported.

The TUF: China Finale, to be held in Macau, will be broadcast globally. Coaches for the season of TUF have not been announced so it is not yet publicly known if the UFC will choose to have English-speaking organization mainstays coach the prospects, or if they will search for coaches who can speak the native languages of the participants. As it stands, the only Chinese fighters currently on the UFC roster are Tiequan Zhang, who has lost his last three fights in the Octagon, and undefeated bantamweight prospect Jumabieke Tuerxun, who hasn’t competed for the promotion yet.


UFC Signs Second Ever Chinese Fighter, Jumabieke Tuerxun

First, there was Tiequan Zhang, the Chinese national who has fought for the UFC five times and now the organization has announced the signing of its second Chinese fighter, Jumabieke Tuerxun. MMA Fighting’s Mike Chiappetta has a report that the undefeated bantamweight is now a part of MMA’s top promotion.

The UFC has had an office in China for years and is looking to break into the gigantic market place but has yet to invest in many Chinese fighters themselves. The organization held an event in Macau last year that featured Rich Franklin vs. a guy we suppose the UFC thought was “Chinese enough” in the Vietnamese Cung Le.

Tuerxun is an undefeated prospect and former Legend FC champion. As Chiappetta points out, no one seems to really know for certain what his record is, but perhaps that can just be chalked up to the many mysteries of the Orient…

In any case, Tuerxun is certainly without a loss in his noteworthy professional career and it will be exciting to see what type of path he can continue to blaze for his countrymen in the sport, since China still lags a bit in terms of MMA participation.

Those of you taters that have seen him fight, let us know what you think. Does Tuerxun have a good shot at making a dent in the UFC’s uber competitive 135 pound division, and how long until he chimes in on the whole GSP War Crimes Kimono issue?

We will wait and see.

-Elias Cepeda