The days when China’s domestic MMA scene was so buoyant that Wang Sai skipped out on his UFC contract because he could make more money fighting locally are long gone. The country has hit hard by the pandemic but there are signs that promotions there are getting back on their feet.

A big fight has been booked for next weekend with two of the country’s top flyweight set to face off. Ding Miao and Yan Qihui will go head to head in a battle between two fighters who are looking to relaunch their careers in China after coming up short on the international scene.

First time

Miao (16-7) took on Elin Öberg at UAE Warriors 42. It was her first time fighting outside of China and she was stopped in the first round by the Swedish star in Abu Dhabi.

Qihui (23-4) got the opportunity to fight on Dana White’s Contender Series. It is a proven pathway to the UFC but the 26 year old merely served as a stepping stone for Karine Silva who earned a spot on the roster after submitting her.

Qihui holds a 2018 win over Na Liang who would go on to sign for the UFC. She was on a seen fight winning streak before her loss to Öberg at the Etihad Arena.


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Busy weekend

The two will face off at a Fight King event which is booked for Hohhot. It is one of four shows taking place in China this weekend with shows also taking place in Huangshi, Sichuan and Beijing.

Bullet Fly FC in Beijing will be headlined by a bantamweight title fight. ONE Championship veteran Pengshuai Liu (9-9) is facing Haojie Li (28-7-1) with the vacant belt on the line.

At Dragon FC a lightweight bout between Yibugele (22-12-1) and Japan’s Kengo Fujimura (5-3-2) has been booked. That card will also feature a featherweight fight pitting Kangjie Zhu (16-4) against Min Hyuk Lee (8-4).

The Liangshan Torch Festival International MMA Challenge also pits a Chinese opponent against foreign opposition. Qiulun (18-9) faces Brazilian Deuzivan Sousa (4-2) in the flyweight division.

It looks set to be a busy weekend of MMA in China. The country had one of the busiest MMA scenes in Asia prior to the pandemic and there are signs that it is getting back on its feet.