Not only does tonight’s WEC 51 card kick off a great month of MMA action, but tonight also serves as another step forward in the expansion of Zuffa LLC into the three billion strong population that makes up the Asian market.
To help drive he growth in fans and supporters in the Asia market, tonight’s fight card includes the promotional debut of undefeated lightweight fighter Tiequan “The Mongolian Wolf” Zhang of Beijing, China, Zhang becomes the first fighter from mainland China to fight in the WEC. Defending a perfect record of 16-0, Zhang trains with China Top Team when home but while he is stateside he has been training at Grudge Training Center in Colo., which serves as the training facility for fellow import “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung.
“Tiequan is an excellent addition to our lightweight division,” said WEC General Manager Reed Harris. “He trains at a tremendous camp in Beijing and we are excited to have him compete with the best lighter weight fighters in the world.” Zhang has seen his opponent changed two times since the announcement of the bout but never the less the undefeated fighter seems ready for his debut stating, “I’m here to fight”.
In addition, the WEC 51 card welcomes back WEC fighter Chan Sung Jung, “The Korean Zombie.”
Many fans will remember Jung for his all out war with Leonard Garcia on the WEC 48 card the first PPV venture for the promotion, which ended in defeat for “The Korean Zombie” but garnered him FOTN acclaim and a drove of fans looking to swipe up his T-shirts with a little help from another instant fan in the form of UFC President Dana White wearing a Korean Zombie T-shirt to the UFC 113 weigh ins.
Jung is set to square off against TUF alum and WEC fighter George Roop.
Wit their focus on expanding globally leading to events in the UK, Germany and the United Arab Emirates to name a few, Zuffa, recently announced that the promotion was establishing operations in Asia, and named former NBA executive Mark Fischer as the Executive Vice President and Managing Director. Fischer will be based in Beijing, China. Fisher has been quoted as saying Zuffa is in search of a catalyst to drive fan interest similar to what basketball star Yao Ming had done in the past for the NBA.
Fisher and Zuffa may not need to look much further should both Zhang and “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung bring the fight to tonight’s WEC 51 broadcast on the Versus Network starting at 9:00 PM EST.