UFC, the world’s premier Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) organization, today announced the second season of ROAD TO UFC, the most significant opportunity for Asia's top MMA prospects to make it to the world stage. The opening round will kick off the tournament on May 27 and 28.
ROAD TO UFC is a ground-breaking “win and advance” tournament that will take top MMA prospects from Asia and give them a pathway to a UFC contract. The inaugural tournament, which started in June 2022, featured 32 mixed martial arts athletes competing in each of four men’s weight classes. At the final round held earlier this month on February 5, the four final winners were awarded UFC contracts: Anshul Jubli of India, Jeong Yeong Lee of South Korea, Rinya Nakamura of Japan, and Hyun Sung Park of South Korea. Additionally, three more ROAD TO UFC participants were signed: finalist Jeka Saragih of Indonesia, finalist Toshiomi Kazama of Japan, and non-tournament bout winner Zhang Mingyang.
ROAD TO UFC Season 2 will once again feature men’s flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight, and lightweight divisions. Participating athletes in Season 1 came from China, Korea, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and India, and in Season 2, the athletes are expected to come from an even broader list of countries. To provide additional opportunities for MMA prospects, there will also be one non-tournament bout on each card, for a total of five bouts on each event.
The opening round of ROAD TO UFC Season 2 will take place on May 27 and 28. All rounds of the tournament will take place in front of live audiences, with location and venue details announced in advance of each event. The finals are expected to take place as featured bouts on a UFC Fight Night Asia event in the 4th quarter of 2023, at which time UFC contracts will be awarded to each of the four divisions' winners.
Interested athletes are encouraged to apply for consideration by sending their profiles and fight footage to RoadtoUFC@ufc.com by March 13.
Kevin Chang, UFC Senior Vice President and Head of Asia, said: “When we launched ROAD TO UFC last year, we could not have anticipated the tremendous impact it had on building our local talent and fanbase in Asia. It has surpassed our expectations in all aspects, including followers, engagement, viewership and reach, but most importantly it delivered seven exciting new prospects to UFC. Season two will build on this foundation and once again give Asia's MMA prospects a clear path to UFC.”
Each episode of ROAD TO UFC will air in Asia primetime GMT +8, so audiences across Asia can get to know the athletes via in-event features and competitions on the following UFC broadcast partners:
HONG KONG: NOW SPORTS
INDIA: SONY TEN 2
SOUTH KOREA: TVN, TVN SHOW, TVN SPORTS, TVING
MALAYSIA: ASTRO SUPERSPORT 5, UNIFI TV, MOLA
PHILIPPINES: TAP GO, PREMIER SPORTS
SINGAPORE: HUB SPORTS, MIO SPORTS, MOLA
THAILAND & CAMBODIA: TRUE SPORTS HD3
VIETNAM: K+ SPORTS