GLORY kickboxing invades mainland China with giant sports figure Yao Ming as figurehead –

GLORY, the world’s premier kickboxing league, will break the mould later this year by staging the first major combat sports event in mainland China, in association with the former NBA basketball star Yao Ming. The date and venue of the event will be announced at a news conference on August 8, 8/8 being a lucky date in Chinese culture.  

GLORY, now five years old, received an investment by Yao Capital, the equity firm of the 7ft 6ins tall ex-NBA star Ming last year, and there are extensive plans for Asian events later this year, including mainland China, which has been a difficult market for boxing and mixed martial arts organisations to break into, for many reasons. 

Both the UFC and boxing promoter Bob Arum have staged events in Macau, but thus far the huge landmass of the People’s Republic has been devoid of an event. GLORY, now a major player in the international market, with media rights deals in nearly every country, but inroads into Asia represents a huge step forward.

GLORY have found a way over the Great Wall. Scott Rudman, co-founder and vice chairman of GLORY, told Telegraph Sport: “The Chinese market for combat sports is going to be the largest market in the world. It’s larger than the market in the USA. I don’t think it’s going to take very long. Why? Because they have a billion people who have combat and martial arts in their DNA.”