Cung Le hasn’t fought in a year, but he’s been busy
– as one of the UFC’s ambassadors in Asia.
Le, the former Strikeforce middleweight champion who was born in
Vietnam, will serve an important role as mentor and chief coach of
both teams during the inaugural “The Ultimate Fighter:
China,” which debuts Dec. 7, the UFC announced Sunday.
The 16-fighter cast was revealed and the UFC’s first
Chinese fighter, Tiequan Zhang, and Chinese MMA star Hailin Ao will
act as the two coaches. The contestants will consist of eight
featherweights and eight welterweights.
Breaking into this market is massive for the UFC – China
has a population of 1.36 billion, which is more than 19 percent of
the entire world’s population.
“The inaugural ‘The Ultimate Fighter: China’
is a ground-breaking program an is an unprecedented initiative for
any global sports league in China,” said Mark Fischer, the
executive vice president and managing director of UFC Asia.
“TUF: China” will be distributed by Liaoning
Satellite TV, which reaches more than 830 million viewers in the
country, according to the UFC release. It has not been announced
whether the show will be available for viewing outside of
The list 16 cast members were selected from more than 150
applicants and hail from China, the United States, Canada and