The UFC’s planned return to China will have to wait until 2024.
The upcoming card on Dec. 9 originally scheduled in Shanghai, China is now expected to shift back to Las Vegas with the event taking place at the UFC APEX.
Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Wednesday. MMA manager Shu Hirata first announced the news on Twitter.
— Shu Hirata | シュウヒラタ (@ShuHirata) November 15, 2023
The UFC has made no official announcement about the switch or why the event will no longer take place in China.
Over the past few years, the UFC has continued expanding further and further into the Asian market with a particular focus on China. The UFC opened a Performance Institute in China while also promoting Road to the UFC, which focuses on up and coming prospects competing to earn a spot on the main roster.
The global pandemic shut down a lot of the UFC’s travel to international locations but this was expected to serve as the promotion’s push back into China.
Unfortunately it appears those plans will have to wait until a later date now that the UFC Fight Night card on Dec. 9 is expected to take place in Las Vegas.
Mike Heck contributed to this report.