HONG KONG -- Zuffa's first voyage to China happens this Saturday with UFC Macao: Franklin vs. Le, and Wednesday the promotion hosted a pre-fight press conference at the Harbour City Mall. In attendance were middleweight headliners, Rich Franklin and Cung Le, along with main card fighters Dong Hyun Kim and Zhang Tiequan.
EVP and Managing Director of UFC's Asia Division Mark Fischer led the presser with former WEC head Reed Harris, and former champions Urijah Faber and Chuck Liddell were also present during the activities.
Here's a brief rundown of all the news and notes from the event:
- According to Mark Fischer, the next Asian UFC event is already being planned, with the details expected to be announced following the conclusion of UFC: Macao this Saturday.
- When asked about the difference of markets in Japan and Macau, Mark Fischer said that while they are getting strong support from China, the fanbase in Japan is "more mature", so they have put more effort on educating this new market they are trying to break in to.
- Replying to a question about his future plans, Rich Franklin reiterates that he's solely focused on Le at the moment, but did say that "dropping back down to 185 lbs. is about getting a title shot before I retire".
- Cung Le addressed questions about balancing being an actor and being a fighter, saying that he has learned from past mistakes and has completely focused on just training and fighting for over a year now. When asked why he doesn't just switch to movies to get paid without getting punched, Le says "I guess I like to get punched in the face sometimes. I'm a martial artist first before I'm an actor."
- As a random tidbit during the presser, Rich Franklin states that he did his "civic duty" and voted during the US elections despite staying in Asia for several weeks now. The former middleweight champ didn't reveal who he voted for though, as he says that's like asking him "what type of underwear" he uses. Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le happens this Saturday at the Cotai Arena in Macau, China, and it will be televised live on Fuel TV starting at 9 a.m. ET.