The UFC’s ambitions to capture the China market were on full display today with the opening of the UFC Performance Institute in Shanghai.
Nearly three times bigger than the original UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas, the 93,000 square-foot facility will serve as a training hub to develop and support the next generation of MMA athletes from mainland China and the greater Asia-Pacific region.
The building will also see the UFC move its headquarters back to China after several years in Singapore.
The grand opening of UFC Performance Institute Shanghai comes as UFC prepares for its third live event in China this August that will mark a series of “firsts” for the company.
On Saturday, 31 August, UFC will make its debut in Shenzhen – the company’s third live event in Mainland China in three years.
UFC Fight Night: Andrade vs. Zhang will be held at Universiade Sports Centre and feature the first-ever UFC championship fight held in China – as well as the first-ever Chinese athlete to compete for a UFC title.
UFC Shenzhen will be headlined by a strawweight championship showdown, as newly crowned champion Jessica Andrade looks to defend her title for the first time against no. 6-ranked contender Zhang Weili.
Andrade (20-6) is the no. 15-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world and is on a mission to build her legacy as the new champion by stopping Zhang’s 19-fight win streak.
Zhang (19-1) is the highest-ranked Chinese UFC athlete in history and has had 16 of 19 wins via finish, including nine by KO and seven by submission, with 10 first-round finishes.