REBEL Fighting Championship (REBEL FC) is making good on its promise to host eight events in the most important cities in China for this year in its quest to not only unearth Chinese Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) talent but bring out the beauty of martial arts at its birthplace, Guangdong province.
Happening on Saturday, 26 May 2018, at the Tianhe Sports Centre in Guangzhou (a major city in Guangdong), A Warrior’s Return will feature three blockbuster bouts pitting three of the best fighters in China against three high-level international fighters. REBEL FC 8 – A Warrior’s Return will be staged slightly more than a month after REBEL FC 7 – Fight for Honour, which will be hosted in Shanghai on 29 April 2018. This underlines REBEL FC’s serious intent in developing MMA for the long run in China.
REBEL FC’s press conference on Thursday, 12 April 2018 at Conrad Guangzhou to officially launch REBEL FC 8 – A Warrior’s Return was a colourful affair. Attended by many influential media from Guangdong province, including Zhou Chun, director of Guangdong Sports Channel, the official broadcast partner of REBEL FC’s events in China for 2018, the occasion opened with flashy and elaborate displays of martial arts such as Hong Quan and Wing Chun, which are native to the province.
Zhou Chun, director of Guangdong Sports Channel (fourth from left) and REBEL FC CEO Justin Leong (fifth from left) together with the main MMA stars and ring girls of REBEL FC 8 – A Warrior’s Return.
"Chinese martial arts has a long history. I personally admire the spirit of self-improvement advocated by Chinese martial arts. This is also fully compatible with the characteristics of MMA, which encourages you to learn more than one martial art in order to be a complete fighter.
“When talking about the origins of Chinese martial arts and MMA, Guangdong has a long tradition of martial arts and is home to many martial arts masters. The famous Chinese martial artist, Bruce Lee, whose roots were from Guangdong, is regarded in martial arts circles worldwide as the ‘Father of MMA’ There are many MMA enthusiasts in China, and we hope to promote the spirit of MMA in China as a tribute to Chinese martial arts,” said REBEL FC CEO, Justin Leong.
Chris Morris of Australia is inspired by Bruce Lee, whose roots originated from Guangdong province.
"The quality of the competition is the most important thing in our fights. We invite international MMA stars to compete with China's top MMA talent to ensure high standards. We are confident that the quality and intensity of the fights will be riveting for audiences in Guangdong. We have been working hard to cultivate potential Chinese MMA stars and are very optimistic about the potential of these Chinese MMA talent and hope to make them successful not only in China but the world,” added Leong.
The highlight of the press conference was undoubtedly REBEL FC 8 – A Warrior’s Return’s top billed fighters, and attractive ring girls. Australian Chris Morris, was his usual eccentric, but charming self. Brazilian Marcelo Tenorio was smart and spiffy in his well-pressed suit and Ukrainian Konstantin Linnik was decked out in sporty chequered shirt and jeans. Their Chinese opponents – Wu Cheng Jie, Liu Wen Bo and Wang Sai respectively – were all sharp looking in their tailored suits.
Proceedings became tense when Marcelo Tenorio, who has competed in MMA events in China many times, insinuated that while his rival Liu Wen Bo was a Middleweight (84kg) Legend MMA champion, it does not mean Liu can replicate that feat in their Light Heavyweight (93kg) bout as there is a 9kg difference in weight class and that China has no known light heavyweight champions. Liu naturally did not take kindly to the comments and heated words were exchanged. Will Liu Wen Bo make Marcelo eat his words and emerge as a Light Heavyweight winner? Only one way to find out – get your tickets on Damai for REBEL FC 8 – A Warrior’s Return!
War lies ahead as Liu Wen Bo exchanges unpleasantries with his opponent, Marcelo Tenorio.
Aside from REBEL FC Fight Night’s three main bouts, there will be also eight more international quality bouts on 26 May 2018. They can be seen below in the full fight card.
Full Fight Card
1. International Fight 1 – Bantamweight (61kg) Division: Wang Daoyuan (China) VS Niu Kang Kang (China)
2. International Fight 2 – Bantamweight (61kg) Division: Chen Rui (China) VS Yad Singh (India)
3. International Fight 3 – Lightweight (70kg) Division: Bao Yinna (China) VS Arben Escayo (Philippines)
4. Main Fight – Featherweight (66kg) Division: Wu Chengjie (China) VS Chris Morris (Australia)
5. International Fight 4 – Featherweight (66kg) Division: Tang Kai (China) VS Andre Hohlov (Poland)
6. International Fight 5 – Featherweight (66kg) Division: Wang Ya Yong (China) VS Nikolay Kondratiuk (Ukraine)
7. International Fight 6 – Middleweight (84kg) Division: Daniel Gaucho Periera (Brazil) VS Muhammad Abdullah (USA)
8. International Fight 7 – Bantamweight (61kg) Division: Renato Riberio (Brazil) VS Taras Grytskiv (Ukraine)
9. International Fight 8– Middleweight (84kg) Division: Cheick Kone (Ivory Coast) VS Antonio Dos Santos Jr (Brazil)
10. Co-Main Event – Middleweight (84kg) Division: Wang Sai (China) VS Konstantin Linnik (Ukraine)
11. Main Event – Light Heavyweight (93kg) Division: Liu Wenbo (China) VS Marcelo Tenorio (Brazil)