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China’s MMA Fighters are Spicing Up the World Arena

Now that the sport is revving up in China, we’re going to be seeing a lot more Chinese-influenced fighting styles in the MMA arena.
China’s MMA Fighters are Spicing Up the World Arena

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:

  • What’s it like to be a supermodel in China? We followed one around as French sportswear giant Lacoste’s hosted its biggest-ever fashion show in China
  • Singles’ Day (November 11) is a big deal in China, but what’s an even bigger deal is Benedict Cumberbatch speaking Chinese to promote it.
  • Zhang Weili, China’s most memorable face in the UFC, lost by split decision against Namajunas at UFC 268. It’s a bummer, but the athlete is still proud of how far she’s come.

Intrigued? Keep scrolling, my friend.

Move Over McGregor, China’s Revving Up on MMA

Most of China’s first-generation fighters have backgrounds in Sanda, otherwise known as Chinese kickboxing. These include Ao Hailin, Yao Honggang, Dai Shuanghai, and the aforementioned Zhang Tiequan, who started training in Mongolian wrestling and later took up Sanda.

“Everybody around the world trains Muay Thai, and there’s a lot of people that don’t know what Sanda is," says Vaughn Anderson, a Chongqing-based Canadian mixed martial artist. He has fought, coached, and commentated in the industry throughout his 20 years in China. "It’s a mystery to a lot of people, so it’s hard to prepare [for].”

While other traditional Chinese martial arts may not be suitable for combat inside the octagon, the ubiquity and diversity of fighting styles can be a springboard for young athletes who later transition to MMA.

As the industry continues to grow in China, gone are the days of obscurity for mixed martial artists. With world-class athletes competing around the globe for the most prominent organizations in the sport, we’re likely to hear a lot more about China’s unique MMA history in the future.

Are you excited to see China get in the ring?

When you think of wine, you’re probably not thinking about Chinese wine. Chinese winemakers are working hard to shape its reputation by producing some fantastic wines. In China, the most renowned region for wine is called Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, located along the Helan Mountains.

Graeme Kennedy uncorks a series of fantastic shots of the grape harvest, which you can check out here.

We appreciate the fresh beats of summer, but it’s time to gear up for the fall and winter with these spooky autumn tunes.

This month’s new tracks feature twee indie rock from Guangzhou band Nouvelle, experimental instrumental rock music from the Beijing-based band SWARRM, and more.

Check out a new episode of SoundCheck, our podcast featuring Wes Chen, host of hip hop podcast thePark, and Bryan Grogan, former culture editor at RADII, as they talk about their favorite releases of the month.

  • Although the game has been blocked in China since last year, netizens are still ecstatic about the release of “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” Nintendo surprised ACNH players and released the new game a day early. China probably surprised Nintendo with its enthusiasm for an update they allegedly can’t play.
  • “Walk through the black carpet, walk diagonally to the stage, walk fast when the show is ending.” We followed a rising model around as French sportswear giant Lacoste’s hosted its biggest-ever fashion show in China.
  • Henry Lau isn’t just a #snacc, he also loves to snack. We asked the questions so that you could get the answers (and some foodie inspiration, too). Spoiler alert: Henry takes his meals pretty seriously.
  • Alibaba has launched a “Metaverse Art Exhibition” just in time for Singles’ Day (11/11) in China. It will allow users to use a virtual space to interact with each other, and this virtual influencer has been tasked to be your tour guide.
  • Actor Benedict Cumberbatch will make an appearance at this year’s Singles’ Day Gala. This is him speaking Chinese.
  • Tesla titan Elon Musk caused some major confusion in the Twitterverse when he tweeted a Chinese poem. Is he throwing shade? Who is he subtweeting?

Are you Team Netflix or Team Tencent?

Two adaptations of the award-winning Chinese sci-fi epic, The Three-Body Problem, are being made — one by Netflix, and one by Tencent. Netflix seems to have put some effort into casting Asian cast members for the show, but details are still yet to be finalized as to who's playing whom.

Meanwhile, Tencent has released a whole trailer:

Netizens are anticipating both, but one’s getting more hype than the other. Can you guess which?

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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