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The Things You Don’t Know About China’s MMA Fans

You’d be forgiven for assuming that China’s burgeoning MMA fanbase is entirely composed of young men. But you’d be dead wrong.
The Things You Don’t Know About China’s MMA Fans

Too busy to check in on the RADII website every day? We got you every Monday with a summary of all the freshest takes on China’s youth culture in the last week:

  • The Matrix Resurrections is the only major Hollywood film so far to receive a China release date in 2022, beating out the highly anticipated Spider-Man: No Way Home for a spot on the calendar, but will it be a hit?
  • This social media platform just banned these ‘bad words’ in usernames to make the internet a friendlier place.
  • Double amputee Xia Boyu is the star of this documentary, which follows his successful journey to the peak of Mount Everest, leaving us with no excuse to complain about Mondays.

Intrigued? Keep scrolling, my friend.

China’s Legion of MMA Fans Is Growing — and They’re a Diverse Bunch

When Hong Jian, a 16-year-old high school student in a coastal city in South China’s Guangdong province, details his journey to become a fan of mixed martial arts (MMA), he starts at the very beginning — with a local boxing gym and his quest to lose weight.

“I used to be a little fat man,” Hong tells RADII, “And, while out walking with my dad one day, I saw a boxing gym, and my father let me join.”

This was four years ago, when Hong was 12 years old, and his experiences in the bruising world of boxing have had a considerable impact on his life.

“I gradually fell in love with this sport because it has allowed me to protect the people I love. It has saved me from mediocrity and cowardice — it also made me lose weight,” says Hong, who adds that boxing helped introduce him to MMA — a combat sport he describes himself as a “crazy fan” of.

Hong is particularly fond of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), an American MMA promotion company headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. He praises the UFC for its strong position of authority in the sport.

According to Kevin Chang, UFC’s senior vice-president in the Asia-Pacific region, the fight promotion has more than 170 million fans in China — more than half the total population of the United States.

Where are the die-hard MMA fans in China from, and when did they become fascinated with the sport?

Mike Tyson soaking in an inflatable pool with his Bengal tigers, Sailor Moon in latex fetish wear, wrestlers grappling each other in golden chains and Calvin Klein briefs.

Welcome to the world of ¥ouada, a Hangzhou-based artist mixing elements of street culture with a profusion of anime and pop-culture references:

Click here to learn more about ¥ouada’s unique fusion of gangster themes, street style, and pop culture.

  • The heartbreaking news of a late celebrity photographer’s suicide at the age of 26 has sparked a much-needed discussion about mental health on Chinese social media.
  • As it turns out, Chinese social media does not want you to be self-deprecating. Earlier this month, administrators on Weibo (aka China’s answer to Twitter) banned the use of these profane terms in usernames.
  • Beijing producer Fishdoll has released a stunning orchestral pop album, sharing with us that the creation of this album has allowed her to explore a new genre and helped her explore more about herself and being human in general.

Chronicles of the Immortal Swordsman (剑仙传奇) by renowned wuxia novelist Shiao Yi has been adapted into a comic series by Immortal Studios, swapping ancient mystical mountains for urban jungles:

In fact, the comic version of Chronicles of the Immortal Swordsman was written by Peter Shiao, founder and CEO of Immortal Studios and the son of Shiao Yi.

RADII’s founder Brian sat down with Peter earlier this year to discuss how he brings to life stories of martial arts fantasy and aims to create a media universe that will inspire people to cultivate the hero within:

Are you a gifted meme maker? Or a storyteller crazy about Chinese youth culture? Take a look below, because we’re currently hiring for the following positions:

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