We might not have a city of venue confirmed but the first fight has been booked for the UFC’s upcoming event in China. Zhang Mingyang faces Brendson Ribeiro in a light heavyweight bout on December 9th.
The 25 year old looks set to be part of a sizeable Chinese contingent on the card. The UFC has plenty of fighters from the country to choose from and Mingyang will be making his official debut.
Mingyang had been booked to face Tyson Pedro at UFC 284 in February. He pulled out of that contest due to an undisclosed injury but will finally be making his promotional debut nine month’s later.
Mingyang (16-6) is on a ten fight winning streak that culminated in a KO victory over George Tokkos at a Road to UFC event last year.
ZHANG MINGYANG WITH THE HUGE UPSET 💥
— UFC (@ufc) June 9, 2022
Ribeiro (15-5) will also be making his UFC debut. He is riding a three fight winning streak and earned the contract after knocking out fellow Brazilian Bruno Lopes at Dana White’s Contender Series earlier this month.
Lopes had come into that contest with an 11-0 record so Ribeiro made a big impression by finishing him in the first round. It was a major upset as the odds were +600 in favour of the undefeated light heavyweight.
Ribeiro has been a professional since 2015 and won his first seven fights. But he endured a mediocre spell midway through his career with just five victories in 11 bouts.
The 27 year old has well and truly turned things around and was crowned as Shooto Brazil light heavyweight champion last year.
Taking the W with a HUGE FINISH! 🔥
— UFC_Asia (@UFC_Asia) September 6, 2023
Fans hoping that the eagerly anticipated all Chinese strawweight title fight between Weili Zhang and Yan Xiaonan would find its way onto this card are destined for disappointment. Earlier this month Dana White made it clear that he wasn’t looking to make this particular match in China.
UFC Fight Night 234 doesn’t currently have a venue or a main event. It could be in any one of a number of Chinese cities but it would be a surprise if Zhang and Xiaonan weren’t on the card.
Zhang is the reigning UFC strawweight champion and the only Chinese fighter to ever win a title with the promotion. Meanwhile Xiaonan is coming off the biggest win of her career against Jessica Andrade.