Tensions are currently running high in Hong Kong, as thousands of pro-democracy protesters have taken their grievances to the streets of the Chinese territory. Normally, this kind of news would not infiltrate the MMA bubble, but the UFC has plans to touch down in the neighboring Chinese city of Shenzhen on August 31, which makes it quite relevant.
The situation in Hong Kong, which has underway since June, has resulted in hundreds of arrests, violent collisions between protesters and police, airport shutdowns, and a boosted military presence at the China-Hong Kong border. Given this strife, there has been widespread worry the UFC may have to cancel the upcoming UFC Shenzhen card.
Speaking at UFC 241, UFC President Dana White addressed the status of this UFC Shenzhen card, admitting that things are becoming quite difficult in terms of planning. That being said, the UFC boss assures the card will happen — even if he’s the only one there.
”It’s definitely messing with the event, and definitely making things a lot more challenging,” White said (via FanSided).
“Even if I’m the only one there, the fight is still happening,” he laughed. ”I’ve already started messing with my flights and connections to get in there already, especially after what happened the other day in Hong Kong.”
The UFC Shenzhen card will headlined by a strawweight title fight between Brazilian champion Jessica Andrade and Chinese challenger Weili Zhang. If Zhang wins, she will become the first Chinese champion in UFC history.
White says he is excited for this fight, and sees it as a big deal for China.
”Me personally, I’m so excited for that [Andrade-Zhang] fight,” White said. “It’s such an important fight, not just for the division, but for both countries, you know? If Weili Zhang can win and become a world champion, it’s a huge deal for China.”
Stay tuned for further updates on UFC Shenzhen, and how the card will be effected by the protests in Hong Kong, as details emerge.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/19/2019.