The cage is set for MMA event in Beijing

Updated: 2015-11-21 10:05

By Sun Xiaochen(

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World-class mixed martial artists are set to thrill a Beijing crowd Saturday with adrenaline-pumping action at the ONE Wujie: Dynasty of Champions MMA fighting event at the Beijing Gymnasium of National Olympic Sports Centre.

The event will be the second of its kind presented jointly by ONE Championship, the biggest professional MMA organization in Asia, and its promoting partner, Beijing-based Wujie Sports Development Co Ltd.

Victor Cui, CEO of ONE Championship, said all the fighters have been ready for the Saturday action, which will kick off a string of events under the partnership of ONE and Wujie to be staged across China next year.

“ONE Championship is back in Beijing and we’ve lined up an amazing card for fans all across the world. We are very excited to bring events back to China, where martial arts originated. Get ready for a thrilling night of world-class MMA action,” he said.

After following a strict diet and performing vigorous exercises in steam rooms, all 16 fighters met their respective weight limits at Friday’s official weigh-in. Each pair confronted each, eye-to-eye, for a tense photoshoot at the ceremonial event.

The fighting card features two main events, the first being a featherweight unification bout between Russian challenger Marat “Cobra” Gafurov and reigning title holder Narantungalag Jadambaa of Mongolia. Gafurov, the interim ONE featherweight world champion, showed pure dedication losing 8kg in one day to qualify for the fight.

“It has always been my dream to be a champion. I won’t stop until I am considered the best in this sport. I’m doing this for my family, my country and for myself. Tomorrow night, I have the chance to claim sole honor of being ONE Featherweight World Champion. It’s an opportunity that I am ready to seize,” Gafurov said.

The other main event fight features Brazilian flyweight champion Adriano Moraes and challenger Kairat Akhmetov of Kazakhstan.

The strong response of Jadambaa, the reigning featherweight champion, aggravated the tension between the two fighters.

“I am proud to be recognized as champion. It is an honor for both me and my country. Tomorrow night, Gafurov and I will determine who will have the privilege to be called the undisputed champion,” Jadambaa said.

Alongside the two main bouts, the event will highlight some of the best Chinese talents signed by ONE Championship fighting at a lead-up tournament. Zhang Jiacai will square off against Qiao Longfei while Yang Sen challenges Inner Mongolia’s Alateng to compete for the champion of the featherweight tournament as well as a future shot at challenging overseas title holders.

As the largest sports media property in Asia, the Singapore-based ONE Championship taps into the Chinese market by promoting the cultural roots of modern MMA in traditional Chinese martial arts, kung fu, which is expected to resonate with the Chinese audience.