What is Road to UFC?

  • Road to UFC is a TV series much like The Ultimate Fighter or Contender Series
  • Road to UFC takes place in Asia
  • The season 2 finale takes place after UFC Vegas 85
Road to UFC
Road to UFC /

Road to UFC is an MMA tournament hosted by the UFC to showcase mixed martial artists from Asia. Fighters compete for a UFC contract much like The Ultimate Fighter and Contender Series.

The tournament has four weight classes; flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight, and lightweight, and is held over multiple months, with winners advancing in the tournament. The winners of the tournament from each weight class receive a contract with the UFC.

Road to UFC originally started as a reality television series similar to the already established The Ultimate Fighter, however, this only lasted for one season and was dropped in 2015. The branding was brought back in 2022, however rather than a reality TV series, Road to UFC is now a more traditional tournament, where multiple fights are shown per episode.

The tournament is divided into seasons and episodes, with each episode containing four tournament bouts, along with a bonus non-tournament fight. The current season of Road to UFC started in May 2023 and is scheduled to finish at UFC Vegas 85, after main card. This season’s finals are set to feature fighters from China, Japan, and South Korea.

Japanese fighter Rei Tsuruya is set to face China’s Ji Niushiyue in the flyweight final of the tournament. Xiao Long, representing China, will take on Southern Korean Lee Chang-ho for a UFC bantamweight contact. Yi Zha will fight Li Kai Wen in an all-Chinese final of the featherweight tournament, and Rong Zhu will also represent China when he faces Japanese fighter Shin Haraguchi in the lightweight final.

Road to UFC fight card

  • Zhu Rong (23-5-0) vs. Shin Haraguchi (2-0-0)
  • Li Kaiwen (2-0-0) vs. Yi Zha (23-4-0)
  • Rei Tsuruya (2-0-0) vs. Niushiyue Ji (2-0-0)

Previous winners of the Road to UFC include flyweight Park Hyun Sung, bantamweight Rinya Nakamura and the only current Indian UFC fighter Anshul Jubli.


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