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Welcome to the UFC: Yaozong Hu, Wuliji Buren and Yanan Wu

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The first three of ten fighters debuting at UFC: Shanghai include a undefeated heavyweight, a GIF legend and a young female prospect with bonuses in her future.

With just over one billion residents, China is a market that the UFC has been attempting to break into for the last few years. A season of TUF failed to produce any marketable fighters and now the promotion is hungry to find the next big Chinese thing. How hungry? They have six debuting Chinese fighters for the hometown crowd. The first three include a rare undefeated heavyweight, a fighter who earned 15 minutes of fame with a WWE finish, and a young woman who is game for good ole fashion face-punch party.

Who is Yaozong Hu?

23-year-old Chinese big man “Bad Boy” Yaozong Hu will step in on less than a weeks notice for James Mulheron who is the latest victim of USADA. The good news is Hu has finished all of his professional fights. The bad news is he has only had three fights. The worse news is his opponents combined record is 1-7 and that win came via disqualification. Hu’s home gym is ET MMA is Shanghai, but he has spent the last few months training at the Jackson/Wink Academy to prepare for this massive step up in competition.

What should you expect?

Hu is a southpaw striker who is incredibly light on his feet and agile. He stays pretty technical for the most part, but fights with his heart on his sleeve and can be bated into a brawl. We’ve only had a brief glimpse of his ground game and he appeared competent against the competition he was given. His cardio and athleticism are better than average, a rare attribute for a big man. Overall he looks like a solid prospect that might be ready for the UFC in two or three years. The UFC’s desire to succeed in the Asian countries is causing these young fighters to be brought up too quickly and could ultimately slow the growth throughout the Asian markets.

What this means for his debut?

Yaozong Hu will face Cyril Akser on four days notice. Asker has dropped two of his three UFC bouts and will be eager to right the ship. Asker is the bottom of the food chain in the heavyweight division, but the worst UFC fighter is still far superior to anyone Hu has come across. Asker will get this to the ground and look for an early choke. It will be trail by fire for Hu and he will come out a better fighter. Asker RNC 1st


Who is Wuliji Buren?

27-year-old Chinese prospect Wuliji Buren will make his octagon debut riding a three fight win streak. Included in that streak is a WWE-esque powerbomb knockout of opponent Beno Adamia that garnered the attention of the MMA media world wide. The highlight reel slam must have been the catalyst for Buren’s signing, his record is littered with mediocre opponents (a few of which he’s lost to) and he has yet to pick up a victory over a big name or capture a promotional title.

What should you expect?

Buren appears to have a technical understanding of the sport, but his skillset is limited to the basics. His striking combos are one, twos or single haymakers. On the mat he is competent but lacks the creativity to be a dangerous submission threat. Not to say there is nothing to work with here, his athleticism is apparent in all of his fights and his best weapon may be his ability to out work his opponents all three rounds. He has a good base, just needs a bit of fine tuning before stepping in with the elite.

What this means for his debut?

Wuliji Buren has been matched up with Filipino Rolando Dy who will be looking to for his first win following an 0-2 start in the octagon. Buren has a tendency to leave his hands dangerously low, which could lead to a short fight against a fighter with Dy’s boxing capabilities. A grinding ground attack would be Buren’s best game plan, but Dy’s striking is too tight and he will land early. Dy TKO 1st

Watch Buren’s handy work in his second professional fight:


Who is Yanan Wu?

21-year-old Yanan Wu is one of the brightest young stars in Asia. In the four years that she has been pro, she has collected nine victories, eight via stoppage. Her lone defeat came at the hands of current Invicta bantamweight champion Yana Kunitskaya in September of last year. She has not fought much in the way of talent, but dispatches the lower quality opponents in a manner that suggests she is the real deal.

What should you expect?

Wu is a ball of Chinese raw talent, she is aggressive striker that refuses to take a step backwards and has the power to back up her aggression. Her technique is still developing, but she is a serious threat right now to any lady that decides to trade in the pocket. Kunitskaya exposed her lack of ground skills, when the Russian decided to take her down there was little she could do to prevent it. She could only hold and hope for a stand up. Wu has the aggression and style to pick up performance bonuses if matched up with the right opponent.

What this means for her debut?

Yanan Wu will meet Gina Mazany who is coming off of a very short notice debut loss to Sara Mcmann. Mazany will stand and trade early, but the Xtreme Couture fighter will take it to the mat if she falls behind in the striking. Unless her take down defense has improved dramatically since last year this is going to be a tough debut for Wu. Mazany Unanimous Decision

Check out Yanan Wu (7:50 mark) fighting in her native countries Chin Woo Men promotion:




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