While the UFC has traditionally shied away from tournaments in the modern era, outside of The Ultimate Fighter, the promotion is launching a Road to UFC tournament this June.
Kicking off ahead of UFC 275, the Asian-based tournament will feature fighters from China, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, India, Thailand, and the Philippines. The opening round runs on June 9 and 10, 2022, with the tournament brackets revealed on Sunday.
Four weight classes will be featured, with eight men per division competing for a spot on the UFC roster. Opening round fights will be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, the same venue playing host to UFC 275.
Spotlight is on Asia’s top prospects!????
Here are the tournament brackets for the ???????????????? ???????? ????????????! Who will emerge victoriously and realize their Octagon dreams?
— UFC_Asia (@UFC_Asia) May 23, 2022
While many of the names may be unfamiliar to casual fight fans, UFC faithful will likely recognize Wuiji Buren. The Chinese bantamweight went 0-3 in his original stint with the promotion, and after returning to the regional scene, will be fighting for a second chance with the company.
Also of note, Rinya Nakamura, a former Under 23 freestyle wrestling world champion. Undefeated since transitioning to MMA, he’ll also be taking part in the 135 pound tournament.
ONE Championship fans should recognize Xie Bin, who came up short on Dana White’s Contender Series last year, but will get another crack at the UFC as part of the featherweight Road to UFC tournament.
Non-tournament bouts have also been announced for the Road to UFC cards, including an appearance by British Bellator MMA veteran George Tokkos.
Road to UFC Tournament Brackets
- Choi Seung Guk vs. Rama Supandhi
- Qiu Lun vs. Wallen Del Rosario
- Horiguchi Yuma vs. Top Noi
- Park Hyun Sung vs. Jeremia Siregar
- Maimaitituoheti Keremuaili vs. Kazama Toshiomi
- Nakamura Rinya vs. Gugun Gusman
- Kim Min Woo vs. Xiao Long
- Nose Shohei vs. Wuiji Buren
- Yi Zha vs. Sasu Keisuke
- Hong Jun Young vs. Matsushima Koyomi
- Lee Jeong Yeong vs. Xie Bin
- Lu Kai vs. Angga
- Balajin vs. Ki Won Bin
- Ailiya Muratbek vs. Pawan Maan
- Anshul Jubli vs. Usami Sho Patrick
- Asikeerbai Jinensibieke vs. Kim Kyeong Pyo
Zhang Mingyang vs. George Tokkos – light heavyweight
Shaun Etchell vs. Uchida Takeru – flyweight
Seo Yedam vs. Josefine Knutsson – women’s strawweight
John Adaiar vs. Kim Hanseul – welterweight