In a groundbreaking tournament that commenced last May, 32 mixed martial arts athletes from the flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight, and lightweight divisions embarked on their "Road To UFC" journey. Spanning across China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand, these top MMA prospects have strived to secure a coveted UFC contract. As the journey reaches its climax, a select few fighters are set to compete in the finals of Season 2 on February 3.
Global Talent Pool in the Spotlight
The tournament's "win and advance" format has brought forth diverse talents, and the fighters showcased their skills in the opening round at the UFC Performance Institute in Shanghai last May. The semifinals took place in August following UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs The Korean Zombie in Singapore, narrowing down the field to those who stand on the brink of UFC glory.
Live on UFC Fight Pass: A Night of Destiny
The culmination of Season 2 will unfold live on UFC Fight Pass immediately after the main card of UFC Fight Night: Dolidze vs Imavov concludes. As the stakes reach their peak, the fighters prepare to leave everything in the Octagon.
Flyweight Division Showdown: Rei Tsuruya vs. Jiniushiyue
The first final features an intense battle in the flyweight division between Rei Tsuruya and Jiniushiyue. Tsuruya, at only 21 years old with an unblemished 8-0 record, emerged victorious against Ronal Siahaan and Mark Climaco. Jiniushiyue, who secured his spot with a unanimous decision over former finalist SeungGuk Choi in Singapore, aims to make a mark in the finals.
Bantamweight Duel: Kaiwen vs. Yi Zha
In the bantamweight final, Kaiwen, with a commendable 12-5 record, faces Yi Zha. Kaiwen's journey included triumphs over Lu Kai and Koya Kanda. Yi Zha, having reached the finals in the inaugural season of Road To UFC, seeks redemption after falling short last year against JeongYeong Lee.
Lightweight Decider: Rongzhu vs. Shin Haraguchi
The lightweight division will witness a captivating showdown between Rongzhu and Shin Haraguchi. Rongzhu, a former UFC athlete, is eager for a second chance after his recent victory against SangWook Kim in Singapore. Haraguchi, at 25 years old with a 7-0, 1 NC record, aspires to secure his first UFC contract.
A Platform for Future Stars
Road To UFC has proven to be a platform for forging future MMA stars, as seen in the successes of athletes from the inaugural season, including Rinya Nakamura, Jeka Saragih, HyunSung Park, Anshul Jubli, and the return of JeongYeong Lee in upcoming action against Blake Bilder.
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As contracts are poised to be handed out and lives changed, the culmination promises a night of transformative action that MMA enthusiasts won't want to miss, streaming live on UFC Fight Pass.