Word to that. I neither follow nor care for UFC as a sport to begin with. Too many memories of Tribal tat covered baseball cap wearing homies weighed down by inflated egos and oversize jewellery! Used to love those guys in the gyms. Not!! Total respect for the guys dedicated to it, I know how brutal their training regimes are. Absolute machines some of those guys.
MMA will I think eventually gain a foothold in China (sorry to repeat myself), defiant in the face of 100 million Korean Pop loving lady boys. It will just take some time and money, and eventually, at least some degree of regulation. I do see (and know) a number of guys training very seriously, some of them having even given up lifting to pursue BJJ, Muah Thai, etc. It’s my observation that guys training in ‘MMA’ here tend to be very reserved about it, and unless you know them personally you’d never know anything of their dedication. This of course isn’t dissimilar to back home. It stands to reason that the depth of China’s Martial Arts heritage will find it’s feet in the current (albeit slow) rising popularity of MMA as a pursuit and sport. Top tier sponsorship would be a huge bump, and something I imagine isn’t likely too far off.