Fighters Primed and Ready for Epic UFC® Showdown Saturday at Venetian Macao
Franklin and Le perform open workouts at Hong Kong press conference Wednesday; upcoming match headlines 10-bout fight card at greater China’s first-ever UFC event
With greater China’s first Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) event just days away from its debut at The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel’s CotaiArena™, Macao and Hong Kong media were given an up-close look at the massive MMA firepower that will be on display, at a press conference Wednesday at Harbour City Mall in Hong Kong.
Former UFC middleweight champion Rich “Ace” Franklin and middleweight contender and former Strikeforce® middleweight champion Cung Le performed open workout routines with their respective trainers, after a media question and answer session facilitated by Mark Fischer, Executive Vice-President & Managing Director of UFC Asia, which also included welterweight contender “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim and China’s own lightweight contender “The Wolf” Zhang Tiequan. See photos
The five-round title bout between Franklin and Le has all the makings of an epic showdown. A champion in six different martial arts, Le has one of the most unique fighting styles in the UFC, throwing completely different strikes – and from different angles – than his fellow UFC competitors, baffling previous opponents with his unique rhythm and timing. Franklin, ever the professional, is taking the upcoming challenge seriously, and has been preparing diligently for Le's unique style. As he did prior to the fight’s original July date, Franklin has been in Singapore over the last few weeks to spar with fighters who compete using the same techniques Le will deploy in the Octagon™ on November 10. Says Franklin confidently, “I'll be ready for whatever Cung throws at me.”
“Since opening our Beijing office in 2010, UFC has grown by leaps and bounds and has taken a strong foothold in China,” said Fischer. “The UFC is the most programmed sports league in the country, and UFC fighters are some of the most followed athletes on Chinese social media sites. With over 21 million fans of the sport in China, it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing more home-grown Chinese MMA talent joining the world’s most elite fighters at future UFC events. Saturday’s event is sure to be the first of many for UFC in China – this is history in the making.”
Events like UFC Macao are a specialty for Sands China, which strives to bring the world’s absolute best entertainment events to Macao – often the first-of-their kind for Macao, China and even Asia. They make up a big part of the company’s push to strengthen Macao’s position as one of the top entertainment hubs in Asia. It’s fitting then, that UFC has partnered with Sands China to bring this historic event to China. Two leaders in their respective industries have come together to host a spectacular event – the ultimate in MMA at Asia’s ultimate destination for tourism and leisure.
Fans new to MMA can still get a preview of this exciting combat sport ahead of the November 10 event by visiting the UFC Experience zone at The Venetian Macao, which features exhibition panels introducing the origin of MMA and the game rules, free MMA video games and other interactive games, and a kiosk selling UFC signature merchandise such as t-shirts, caps and boxing gloves.
An autograph session from 2:30 to 3:30 pm on Friday at the CotaiArena will feature Chuck Liddell, former UFC light heavyweight champion and UFC hall of famer; Urijah Faber, UFC bantamweight contender and former WEC featherweight champion; “The Korean Zombie” Jung Chan-Sung, UFC featherweight contender; and the event’s two Octagon Girls®: Hong Kong-based celebrity model Jessica Cambensy (better known as Jessica C) and Korea’s first Octagon Girl, Kang Ye-bin. The official weigh-in follows from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. Both events are free and open to the public.
Universally recognized for its action-packed, must-see events that have sold out some of the biggest arenas and stadiums across the globe, UFC, the world’s premier MMA organization, brings its phenomenal event to greater China – and to Macao – for the first time at The Venetian Macao’s 15,000-seat CotaiArena, the top live entertainment destination in southern China, on November 10. In addition to the headline match between Franklin and Le, the 10-bout event includes fighters like the only Chinese UFC fighter – Zhang Tiequan, Korea’s Dong Hyun Kim, Brazil’s Paulo Thiago, Bulgarian Stanislav Nedkov, and Brazilian Thiago Silva.
UFC® MACAO: FRANKLIN vs. LE will air live on numerous UFC broadcast partners across Asia and globally, as well as on FUEL TV in North America on Sunday, November 11.
The first bout of “UFC® MACAO: FRANKLIN vs. LE” kicks off at 8 pm on November 10, with the main card scheduled to start at 10 pm. Tickets are on sale now at all Sands China box offices* and can be booked online at www.CotaiTicketing.com, or by phone at +853 2882 8818 (Macao) / +852 6333 6660 (HK). Tickets are also available at Tom Lee Outlets and through Hong Kong Ticketing (customer service fee applies) at www.HKTicketing.com, or by phone at +852 3128 8288. Tickets are available in seven categories: HKD/MOP 3,880 (Silver), 2,280 (Bronze), 1,280 (A Reserve), 980 (B Reserve), 880 (C Reserve), 680 (D Reserve) and 380 (E Reserve).