Dana White is looking for the UFC to debut in Macau this year, likely in November.
I remember hearing maybe two years ago Dana going on at press conferences about how the UFC will soon reach "a billion people", making a clear hint at wanting to reach China.
Hear is why I think that this is going to be a big pile of fail. I don't think that it is a mistake to put on a show in China, Dana can have fun doing that if he wants; but if he honestly expects this to explode into a huge market he is mistaken. Remember all the hype around the Japan show? They said they were going to revive Japanese MMA. Japan already has a strong recent history of MMA, and a UFC show there did nothing to bring it back.
In China, MMA is almost non-existent. I am, naturally, a huge fan of MMA. So when the curious Chinese ask me about what sports I follow (because all Americans are sports fans) I will sometimes answer MMA to see if they have any knowledge of it. None of them know what it is. I have only met one Chinese guy who knew what it was. (I was shadow boxing at a sports track and he came up to me and asked if I knew what the UFC was. He then went on to tell me about "The Spider" and "Bones", a fun conversation.)This lack of knowledge, the UFC is well aware of. If you look at their Chinese web page (with the sole Chinese fighter on their roster being advertised)[WIKI]http://ufc.cn/[/WIKI] you will see that they have videos demonstrating things like takedowns and submissions. The UFC knows that the Chinese are unfamiliar with the sport. My guess is that they want to use it to their advantage, in that they see no competition. However,
[WIKI]http://www.ruffchina.com/us[/WIKI] There is competition. In China, MMA is, put simply, illegal. In order to put on an event you must jump through all kinds of hurdles. As one friend put it: "in mainland seals and procedures are very tedious and awful, it has many steps and wait for a long time at every step." I don't pretend to understand the laws governing such a thing, but put simply the UFC is not going to be putting a show on in mainland China anytime soon. This is why they would be looking at Macau. Macau is a Special Administrative Region with its own government and laws separate from the People's Republic of China.
RUFF is the sole MMA organization in China. Only those living and working in China can compete, in other words, its roster is almost entirely native Chinese fighters. And who does the UFC have to garner interest?
Another fact of life in China that Dana will have to get used to is the Chinese attitude toward copyright. Dana White has alot of hate toward those who watch his shows for free. Well, the Chinese don't care. China is proof that piracy does not hurt business at all. Go to youku.com or tudou.com and have fun watching all the movies and television shows you want (most of them Chinese). They don't care there are no real laws against it. If the UFC puts on a show in China you can expect the whole thing to be up on a video sharing site shortly afterward.
Comprehensive write up, dude. Interesting insight.
Macau is party town for Hong Kong. I dunno about Macau but MMA is big in Hong Kong.
Okay, wow. So I looked to purchase Silva vs Sonnen 2 pay per view here in China and found that it will only cost me $7. That is ridiculously cheap. I hear that this is what the UFC does to combat piracy in China. I guess it's a smart move on their part, but now I can't help but wonder why they can't do that in America to combat piracy.