TUF China Finale Preview

tuf_china_finaleThe UFC will once again move into new territory this weekend when they host the first ever TUF China Finale. It will be the first time that the show has moved to China with exclusively Chinese fighters involved. It is another way for the UFC to expand into Asia in this way as the reality show is another way for the UFC to grow the sport in one place that the promotion has yet to take hold. More than that though the UFC will be hosting their first full fight card on their new subscription service. The UFC would announce a change to their broadcasting structure at the beginning of 2014. In the past the UFC would use Facebook to broadcast undercard fights as the first fights on every card would be seen on the UFC page. That would be scrapped for a brand new service that would be added to ufc.tv in the UFC Fight Pass. The UFC would begin their broadcast starting in 2014 when they would host initial fights on the new service with a free trial through January and February. The new digital network will be a subscription service with a monthly fee and will include these preliminary fights plus a lot more. The network will be home to the largest fight library ever with almost any fight available at the click of a button. The network will also be home to exclusive UFC content and TV Shows with TUF Brazil being broadcast on UFC Fight Pass for North American fans. March 1st will mark the first time that the UFC will host an entire fight card on the service. It will be the first of many this year as the UFC looks to make Fight Pass a staple to any hardcore fight fans. The UFC will use Fight Pass to broadcast live events from different parts of the world. As the UFC continues to expand to new markets they will continue to host fights that are not at the best times for North America. These fights will now have a home as the UFC will show all of these fight on UFC Fight Pass. The first of these fights is the TUF China Finale as the UFC travels to Macao for their second trip to Asia in 2014. The event will produce a new fighter on the UFC roster as another winner will earn UFC contracts by winning The Ultimate Fight China. The fight card was supposed to Featherweight final for a UFC contract but an injury to one of the fighters involved, the identity of the injured fighter was not revealed, would end that fight. The fight was originally scheduled between Yang Jianpeng and Ning Guangyou but will now be postponed to a later date. For the welterweight competition Wang Sai and Lipeng Zhang will face off in a matchup of two of the more exciting fighters in the competition. Both Zhang and Sai would finish all of their fights through the show and will look to do the same in the finale. It will be a clash of styles for the contract as Wang Sai is a Muay Thai specialist while Lipeng Zhang is a wrestler. With a 6-4 record, 4 KO wins and 2 submission wins, Sai is looking to keep this fight on the feet and use his superior striking to end things early. Zhang, 6-7 record with three submissions and one KO, will be looking to take the fight to the ground and use his wrestling ability to submit Sai for the contract. It will be a big fight for both men as they will look to be the first winners of TUF China and will look to make an impact in earning their contract. It is another matchup of wrestler versus striker and as with every matchup between these two styles it will be a matter of which fighter can handle the fight in what they are not the best at. For Sai it will be his attempt to stuff takedowns or to fight from his back. For Zhang it will be his ability to fight on the feet and keep Sai from landing a big power punch. Both fighters have ended fights on the feet and on the ground so both fighters have shown that they can fight anywhere. It will be a good matchup and one that will make history as the first TUF China champion will be crowned instantly adding a Chinese fighter to watch in the near future.

The contract fight will highlight the main card for the UFC but it will not be the main event as two welterweights will face off to earn a spot in the conversation of a division in transition. With Georges St. Pierre gone the title is vacant and will be decided on March 15th between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler. After these two face off there will be a big battle to find out who the next contender for the belt will be. Neither Dong Hyun Kim nor John Hathaway are in the title conversation right now but they will look to enter that conversation after the TUF China Finale. To do this they will need to impress the UFC with a big win and a dominant win to show that they belong in the conversation. There is a lot of talent at the top of the division and both fighters will look to put their names in the list of great fighters. Both fighters will come into their main event matchup one hot streaks as both fighters have won their last three fights. Kim will be closer to home in this fight as the Korean will travel close to home for the third time in his UFC career. He will look to use his great judo and his aggressiveness to take the fight to the ground where he is more comfortable. If he cannot get the fight to the ground he will be fine on the feet as his aggressive style also works in his stand-up game. Hathaway will enter the octagon as a well-rounded fighter who is looking make good on the potential that many have seen in him. Considered one of the best prospects from England Hathaway has won his last three fights but has only ever finished one fight in 2009 while he has put together a number of decisions that have not impressed too many in the UFC. The fight will be a good one between two fighters just looking to put their names in the conversation for the welterweight division. They will not get a title fight from a win in this fight but a win will see them becoming a fighter to watch in the division as the title picture becomes clearer in the next few month. They will end a sort of experiment for the UFC as they will headline the first ever UFC Fight Pass fight card in Macao while the first season of TUF China is concluded in what should be a historic and hopefully great card.

 

Fight Card

Main Event:
Dong “Stung Gun” Hyun Kim vs. John “The Hitman” Hathaway (UFC Fight Pass)

Main Card:
Wang “The Fire Kylin” Sai vs. Lipeng Zhang [TUF China Welterweight Title] (UFC Fight Pass)

Matt Mitrione vs. Shawn “The Savage” Jordan (UFC Fight Pass)

Hatsu Hioki vs. Ivan “The Pride of El Salvador” Menjivar (UFC Fight Pass)

Nam Phan vs. Vaughan Lee (UFC Fight Pass)

Undercard:
Kazuki Tokudome vs. Nam “The Korean Bulldozer” Yui Chul (UFC Fight Pass)

Zak Cummings vs. Alberto “Soldier of God” Mina (UFC Fight Pass)

Albert Cheng vs. Wang “Smiley” Anying (UFC Fight Pass)

Jumabieke “Leopard” Tuerxen vs. Mark Eddiva (UFC Fight Pass)

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