The China Issue: Contending Dragon, Fighting Tiger

28 Oct 2014 7:38 am Posted by jmorley

by Michael Job

Originally posted on Fight Sport Asia


The growth of MMA in China is seen as a ‘no brainer’ as MMA promotions around the world line up to compete for the hearts and minds of the Chinese people. The landscape is no picnic though. Fight Sport Asia looks at what it will take for the sport to flourish in the home of traditional martial arts.

It would be wrong to frame the debate about MMA as a homecoming, because martial arts and fighting have many different influences. The influence of martial arts in China is wide ranging and is part of the genetic code of the culture and forms of MMA have long existed like Sanda competitions.

In a 2012 interview Joel Resnik of RUFF China said ‘a lot of parents would rather that their kids do MMA than play basketball’. This reflects the view of Mike Haskamp, the former promoter of Legend FC who currently works as Director of Strategy for NBA Asia. In a 2013 interview he stated that although basketball and the NBA are very popular it is not part of Chinese cultural legacy:


M-1 Challenge 53 in Beijing delayed to November 25, Satoshi Ishii out due to injury

4:06 am Posted by jjwakrat

M-1 Challenge 53 BeijingM-1 Challenge 53 Beijing

M-1 Challenge takes place for the first time in China in Beijing on November 25, 2014. Main event fighter Satoshi Ishii is out due to injury. A replacement for Sergei Kharitonov is being sought.

Russian paratrooper Sergei Kharitonov and Olympic judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii were set meet in the main event of M-1′s first mainland China event “Battle in the Celestial Empire”, the first card of a ten-year deal for M-1 to produce events in China. Ishii has broken a rib and will be replaced by a yet to be agreed upon opponent.

M-1 President Vadim Finkelchtein made the announcement today. The delay of the event to November 25th has been attributed to the holding of the APEC Summit during the week of the previously scheduled date.

Several matches still remain unannounced, and it is expected that Chinese athletes will fill more than a few of them. Finkelchtein “promised to showcase some of the best Chinese MMA fighters at M-1 Challenge 53″,

“MMA in China is still in its infancy but the fan base is already present and it’s quite soild. I believe the event will be a success.”

Yao Honggang is the first announced, one of China’s most well-known fighters, and he will face Nikita Chistyakov, an impressive young striker.

M-1 will hold one show per year in China, starting with Challenge 53. It will be broadcast live in Russia and live streamed worldwide.

M-1 Challenge 53
November 25, 2014
Wukesong Arena
Beijing, China

Streamed live on



ONE FC postpones Beijing event to December, forecast of China events drops to 2 for 2014

27 Oct 2014 3:06 pm Posted by jjwakrat


ONE FC has announced that it’s first event in Beijing, China will be postponed from October 31, 2014 to December 19.

CEO Victor Cui was quoted with the announcement on ONE FC’s Facebook page,

“We’ve decided to add an additional event in China THIS YEAR to ensure that our fans get what they want, making it a total of 2 events in mainland China in 2014. To accommodate for the additional event, our Beijing event, ONE FC: DYNASTY OF CHAMPIONS, will be held on 19 December 2014.”

Originally slated for the China entry card were a match between former Legend FC Champ Adrian Pang versus Vincent Latoel, and former Legend FC Champ Ji Xian versus RUFF stand out Song Ya Dong. No word on the continuity of these matches was announced.

As reported by James Goyder, the event was also to feature one night four-man tournaments at flyweight and featherweight comprised of Chinese fighters, with the intent to crown a national champion.

When ONE FC originally announced its China expansion plans in June of 2014, the promotion stated it would hold four shows for the China market,

ONE FC will be doing 10 events per year in China in partnership with AMC Live, China’s premier event promotion company. ONE FC will throw 4 events in mainland China this year and 10 events annually thereafter.

An official announcement by ONE FC regarding the reduction of events for 2014 was not announced prior to Cui’s statement today.

Originally posted by


26 Oct 2014 10:26 am Posted by jmorley


By James Goyder


Jumabieke Tuerxun hails from a corner of China that most Westerners have not even heard of. He was born and bred in Xinjiang, a Kazakh autonomous prefecture in the North West of the country called which has more in common with Astana than Beijing.

The 28 year old UFC bantamweight may be representing China on the international stage but he says that even in the country’s capital he feels like something of an outsider.



DEEP 69 Impact: Otsuka’s title defense, Sakurai vs Yoshiyuki for MW rights, Hirota vs Imanari, DJ Taiki vs Sage

1:50 am Posted by jjwakrat

DEEP 69 ImpactDEEP 69 Impact

DEEP is 69 Impact takes place on October 26, 2014 with a stacked card topped by Takafumi Otsuka’s Bantamweight title defense against Toshinori Tsunemura, and the next Middleweight title contender between Ryuta Sakurai and Yoshiyuki Nakanishi.

Tsunemura’s not the highest level of opponent that could be placed in front of Otsuka, but the Grabaca representative’s grappling should pair well with Otsuka’s wrestling.

Ryuta Sakurai comes back to the DEEP against Yoshiyuki Nakanishi to determine who will be the first challenger for Yuta Watanabe’s Welterweight belt.

Dice K is back and he gets tough Shinji Sasaki for his welcome.

Mizuto Hirota will face Masakazu Imanari in a match filled with ominous overtones.

Original arm bar woman, Satoko Shinashi, the original DEEP Women’s Flyweight Champ, returns from a 6-year absence in an odd match up against a very your Korean Zombie rep Ye-Jin Jung.

Yuki Okano gets a runner up match against fellow finishing sensation K-Taro Nakamura.

Sage Akao welcomes back former Bantamweight title holder DJ Taiki in what should be a a fight of the century.

AB tries to get the upper hand on Naoto Miyazaki, the former Lightweight title challenger.

Team Korean Zombie gets brought over by Jung Chan-Sung, amateurs starting their pro roads as he did, hunting heads in Japan.

DEEP 69 Impact
October 26, 2014
TDC Hall
Tokyo, Japan

#16 – Next Middleweight title contender
Ryuta Sakurai 桜井隆多(R-BLOOD)
Yoshiyuki Nakanishi 中西良行(TRIBE TOKYO M.M.A)

#15 – Featherweight
Mizuto Hirota 廣田瑞人(CAVE)
Masakazu Imanari 今成正和(Team-ROKEN)

#14 – Lightweight
Daisuke Nakamura “Dice K” 中村大介(U-FILE CAMP/夕月堂本舗)、
Shinji Sasaki 佐々木信治(総合格闘技道場BURST)

#13 – Bantamweight Championship
Takafumi Otsuka 大塚隆史(AACC)
Toshinori Tsunemura 恒村俊範(GRABAKA)

#12 – Bantamweight
DJ.taiki Hata(フリー)
Sage Akao 赤尾セイジ(NEX)

#11 – Women’s Flyweight
Satoko Shinashi しなしさとこ(フリー)
ジョン・イェジン(TEAMフェトラ/CMA KOREA)

#10 – Welterweight
Yuki Okano 岡野裕城(マッハ道場)
Keita “K-Taro” Nakamura 中村K太郎(K太郎道場)

#9 – DEEP VS PANCRASE Lightweight
Naoto Miyazaki 宮崎直人(総合格闘技津田沼道場)
Hiroyuki “AB” Aoki(和術慧舟會駿河道場)

___#8 – DEEP VS PANCRASE Bantamweight
Daisuke Endo 遠藤大翼(和術慧舟會駿河道場)

#7 – Lightweight
Luiz Andrade (禅道会)
Kimihiro Eto 江藤公洋(和術慧舟會HEARTS)

#6 – Bantamweight
Kamisako Hirohito 上迫博仁(チーム クラウド)
Jiro Takahashi 高橋憲次郎(マッハ道場)

___#5 – DEEP VS KOREAN ZOMBIE MMA/本宮塾 Bantamweight
Yuki Takano 高野優樹(和術慧舟會HEARTS
Kim Sung キム・スング(KOREAN ZOMBIE MMA/本宮塾)

___#4 – DEEP VS KOREAN ZOMBIE MMA/本宮塾 Featherweight

#3 – Bantamweight
Harunari Shinogawa Cabbage 篠川キャベツ(クラブ・バーバリアン)
Hiroto Sakuma “Furyo Senpai” 咲間“不良先輩”ヒロト (パラエストラ八王子)

#2 – Lightweight
Fujisawa Yusaku 藤澤優作(禅道会)
Niisato Yoshihiko 新里佳彦(総合格闘技道場MAKUGAN)

Odagiri Isamu 小田切勇(和術慧舟會東京道場)
“Hachioji of the Dead” 八王子・オブ・ザ・デッド (パラエストラ八王子)


25 Oct 2014 2:01 am Posted by jmorley



By Sascha Matuszak

China’s martial arts landscape is littered with the abandoned dojos of unrealistic businessmen. Shuttered gyms, debts unpaid. Students who could have been champs but instead ended up as gangsters or security guards, or even worse, noodle merchants with fat bellies. It’s a tough business and most people go under.

Major MMA promotions like OneFC and RUFF are also having trouble. OneFC, after a media blitz and an announcement that they were going to do multiple shows in China, just postponed their inaugural event in Beijing. The tournament was supposed to be held on October 31st and featured some big names on the Asia MMA circuit, Ji Xian, Song Yadong, Adrien Pang and others. But a run of issues plagued the card. Chinese fighters balked at Western-style (or in this case Singaporean-style) contracts and medical checks; some fighters asked for more money, or their managers reneged on previous agreements. OneFC’s partner in China, an event company based out of Chengdu named AMC, also found the bureaucracy of China’s sports and events administration to be a bit thornier than at first predicted.




Social Media and the UFC: A Snapshot of China’s MMA Market

22 Oct 2014 4:58 am Posted by Sascha Matuszak


Fightland’s Sascha Matuszak breaks down the social media numbers for MMA in China. 

People have been trying to bust into the China market for centuries, and out of every 100 carpetbagging barbarians who show up at the door, maybe 1 walks away with the fortune, the stories, and the scars to prove it all. The UFC is one of the hundred today, looking out across the 1.4 billion strong landscape and wondering, how in the hell am I going to make money off these cats? First and foremost, you have to get to know them. In today’s world that means digital marketing, and especially in China, where phones are probably the quickest and most efficient way to reach the younger crowds. Televisions still rule the landscape—people treat the TV like white noise around here, it’s always on—but outside of that complicated and nepotistic ecosystem, social media is really where it’s at…… For more on how the UFC and other MMA organisations are fairing in the world’s most populous nation, including infographics, provided by the Mailman Group check out the Original Story on Follow Sascha on Twitter. Follow Fightland on Twittter

UFC Fight Night Halifax’s Li Jingliang “Halifax is cold, but on October 4th I’m gonna light shit up”

03 Oct 2014 9:31 pm Posted by jjwakrat

Li Jingliang in Halifax with Canadian manager David Stern

Chinese fighter Li Jingliang AKA “The Leech” has arrived in Halifax ahead of UFC Fight Night. When asked what he thinks of the city, Li said “Halifax is cold, but on October 4th I’m gonna light shit up”.

The welterweight is taking on The Ultimate Fighter and the Ultimate Fighter Canada contestant Nordine Taleb at the Halifax Metro Centre this Saturday. Li does not seem fazed by the recent announcement that he will be on the Main Card, nor does the prospect of 12,000 screaming Canadians cheering for his Montreal-based and Tristar-trained Taleb. “I will beat him by knockout”, Li exclaims confidently.

The Leech is not your average fighter. He is only the second Chinese national to make it into the Big Show internationally. As such, there is a lot riding on this fight. China is a growing market which the UFC is looking to tap. Could the Leech one day become the the Conor McGregor / Yao Ming of Chinese MMA?  There is a long way to go before MMA in China enters the mainstream, however, a win in Halifax for Li definitely wouldn’t hurt. Li won his first and only outing against David Michaud in a gritty split-decision and has already picked up 130 thousand followers on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. A win against Taleb could see him adding significantly to that number.

The China Top Team product has also been gaining international experience training with Jimmy Gifford and Ricky Lundell.

For more on Li Jingliang and his upcoming fight at UFC54, check out this interview at MMA-in-Asia and “Leech on a Harley” by Fightland’s Sascha Matuszak.

Score UFC Fight Night 54 on the iJudgeFights:MMA app.

The Leech outside a Canadian Mongolian restaurant with “The Mongolian Wolf”, former UFC fighter Zhang Tequan.

Jon Delos Reyes on flyweight debut at UFC Japan: “Expect a more polished and mature fighter”

16 Sep 2014 1:39 am Posted by jjwakrat

UFC's Jon Delos Reyes, courtesy Jesse Castro, GSPN

UFC’s Jon Delos Reyes, courtesy Jesse Castro, GSPN

Filipino-American UFC fighter Jone “The Heat” Delos (7-3) Reyes makes his second Octagon appearance next month, September 20, 2014 at Saitama Super Arena in Japan for UFC Fight Night – Nelson vs. Hunt against one of Japan’s hottest prospects in Kyoji Horiguchi (13-1).

Delos Reyes, or better known as JDR by his friends, is a finisher. All of his seven wins were either TKO or submission. He has tremendous power behind his punches and sneaky jiu-jitsu.

The 27-year old fighter made his first UFC appearance in January when he faced Dustin Kimura at UFC Fight Night – Saffiedine vs. Lim in Singapore.

“The Heat” was aggressive and effective in the striking department in the early minutes of the fight, rocking his Hawaiian counterpart with couple of solid blows. But Delos Reyes got careless while he was inside Kimura’s guard and was caught by a deep armbar that made him tap at the 2:13 mark of the opening round,

“The UFC jitters are for real. I felt that I got him with some good clean shots and then decided to try to finish him. Dustin is a very technical fighter.”

After his disappointing loss against Kimura, JDR was originally scheduled to fight Richie Vaculik last June for UFC Fight Night in New Zealand. Unluckily, JDR was forced to withdraw from the fight after sustaining a shoulder and elbow injury in training.

After almost two months of healing and waiting, the time has finally arrived for JDR’s UFC comeback as he is set to face Japanese Flyweight sensation Horiguchi, a fighter who is 2-0 in the UFC.

Facing Horiguchi for his second UFC fight is huge for JDR’s career as he is going to fight for the first time at the 125-pound limit and he looks to prove that he is one of the best fighters to look out for in the ultra-competitive flyweight division,

“This will be my toughest test to date. I know Horiguchi is a very tough and skillful fighter. He has great striking and is very aggressive.  I’ve been honing my BJJ and No-gi grappling with my coach Sonny Nohara at SoNo BJJ. I also began my camp at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. I flew to Guam a few weeks before the fight to join my long time striking coach Sonny Chargualaf, as he will fly with me to Tokyo.”

JDR has been working tirelessly on firming his ground game to become a much more dangerous fighter inside the Octagon. Despite of hurdles in his journey, he remains positive and determined to reach his goal one day of becoming a UFC champion,

“I am working on all aspects of MMA. I’m still young in this sport; I have yet to reach my prime.With an ever evolving playing field, I feel that it is very important to constantly improve and evolve as a martial artist. has the full interview.


Revolution 2 re-set for September 12th in Seoul, Hong Man-Choi back, Lim Su-Jeong vs boxer Leica

02 Sep 2014 9:48 pm Posted by jjwakrat

rvolutiongirlsRevolution 2 round girls

After stumbling across a previous set date, Revolution has now confirmed that its second event will take place on September 12, 2014. Tickets are on sale and athletes have been contracted.

Hong-Man Choi is facing Carlos Toyota in the main event. Choi, a Korean wrestling and kickboxing based fighter, is now walking around at 120kgs and says he feels lighter for it. That’s a substantial difference from his days in K-1 at 160kgs where he holds notable wins over Semmy Schilt, Bob Sapp, and Mighty Mo. Other than that his fame extends to others he’s faced: heel-hooked by Minowaman, arm barred by Fedor, kicked down by Cro Cop. This will be his first MMA match since 2009.

Toyota’s career has been in Japan’s DEEP and Gladiator promotions. Toyota is a BJJ black belt who has won the Pan Ams, Euorpeans, Asians, and All Japans. This will be his first MMA fight since 2011. There’s no need to state the obvious striker-versus-grappler set up for this one.

Female notable standup fighters Lim Su-Jeong of K-1 and Khan fame and boxing stand out Leica will face off. Both are making their MMA debuts, therefore a special ruleset of 30 seconds on the ground limit will be initiated. Lim, known as “Beautiful Fighter, is a cult figure of sorts in Korea, where she appears on television shows.

Leica has fought for both the WBA and WBC lightweight titles, and won the OPBF female lightweight title. Early in her career she defended the WIBA Women’s International Boxing Association featherweight title multiple times to put herself on the map.

Idol Kim Tae-Hyun will make his MMA debut against Daisaku Tanaka from Team Banana who is 40 years old with a record of 3-2.

MMA-in-Asia has the full story.

Full Fight card details after the jump


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