UFC star Weili Zhang’s win over Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 248 is believed to have made a Chinese broadcasting company over $57.5 million.
The battle between Zhang and Jedrzejczyk for the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship will likely go down in history as the greatest women’s mixed martial arts fight of all time. Zhang managed to come out on top in the contest, retaining the belt that she won last year against Jessica Andrade.
Now, in a recent YouTube podcast with Ramsey Dewey and his friend TJ, it has been revealed that Zhang’s popularity in her home country of China goes far beyond what anyone previously thought to be possible.
The Chinese broadcaster PPTV paid the Ultimate Fighting Championship $7 million in order to acquire the annual rights to their shows over in China. For UFC 248, they are said to have made over $57.5 million courtesy of subscribers that tuned in to see Zhang defend her title.
As reported by the New York Post a few months back, the UFC now wants $20 million per year from PPTV — or a general Chinese broadcaster — for a total of $100 million across a five-year period. Their current deal, which came into effect back in 2016, would therefore be ending by the time we hit 2021.
The UFC has been fairly relentless when it comes to branching out into new markets over the course of the last few years, and based on these figures, it isn’t exactly hard to see why. Their growing influence in China relies heavily on the success of Zhang and as we look ahead to the future, there’s a very good chance that the Asian market could take over as the dominant force in MMA once again.
Either way, though, there are some big numbers and big pay-per-views on the horizon if Weili Zhang can continue her current trajectory of success.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/11/2020.