UFC® IMPRESSED WITH ASIAN TALENT AT TRYOUTS FOR THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER® CHINA REALITY SERIES
Over 100 applicants battle it out for 16 places in the first-ever The Ultimate Fighter® reality show in Asia
Beijing – In a matter of weeks 16 fighters will begin the journey of a lifetime to star in the Chinese version of the Ultimate Fighting Championship® hit reality series The Ultimate Fighter®.
As many as 150 candidates applied for the tryouts and nearly 100 were eligible to attend the tryout sessions in Beijing, Marina Bay Sands Singapore, and The Venetian® Macao. The Ultimate Fighter® China casting call was opened to male candidates aged 18-34 with professional mixed martial arts experience; able to speak Mandarin; of Chinese descent; and able to compete as a featherweight (145 pounds/66 kilograms), lightweight (155 pounds/70 kilograms) or welterweight (170 pounds/77 kilograms).
At the tryouts, fighters were put through basic grappling and striking exercises and had their abilities assessed by but none other than UFC® senior matchmaker Sean Shelby. Those who advanced past the first stage were then put onstage for an interview where they were assessed on character and personality. After two rounds, eligible fighters attended drug tests and final medical checks.
In total, 58 fighters from the Beijing, Singapore and Macau tryouts survived the two rounds of screening. From this pool, 16 candidates who passed the medical evaluations will be shortlisted for the first ever The Ultimate Fighter series in Asia.
The Ultimate Fighter is the world’s longest-running sports reality series and has launched over 100 UFC careers including world champions Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans and Matt Serra. The Ultimate Fighter China will be a 12-episode reality TV series where the best Chinese mixed martial artists in the world gather in Shenyang, Liaoning, to live, train and compete with each other to win a six-figure contract with the UFC.
Mark Fischer, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of UFC Asia, said: “We saw some pretty impressive talent from around Asia in our tryouts in Beijing, Singapore and Macau. Through The Ultimate Fighter China, we are not only developing the next generation of Chinese UFC fighters, but also introducing UFC to millions of new fans across the region.”
The highly anticipated Chinese edition of The Ultimate Fighter is co-produced by UFC and Liaoning Radio Television and will premiere this December on Liaoning Satellite TV, reaching more than 830 million viewers across China at weekend prime time. The live Finale event to determine the inaugural champion of The Ultimate Fighter China will take place at The Venetian Macao’s Cotai Arena in March 2014. Cotai Strip Resorts Macao and Marina Bay Sands are the presenting sponsors of The Ultimate Fighter China, the result of a multi-year partnership between Sands China Ltd. and UFC.
Added Fischer: “Once the fighters are selected, they move into The Ultimate Fighter house and leave the rest of the world behind for six weeks. They will train with China’s top coaches, meet UFC veterans and local celebrities. For these 16 fighters, however, this is more than just a TV show. This is the opportunity of a lifetime as they embark on the mission to become the first ultimate fighters from China.”
For more details on the UFC visit www.ufc.cn.