On the 25th of November 2017, Shanghai hosted their first ever UFC fight night. One of the awesome things about being an AirAsia Allstar is that I was lucky enough to watch the event live, and experience all the nitty-gritty bits behind the scenes.

Here are some of the highlights:

rsz_ufc1The funniest question that got asked during the media conference was addressed to Michael Bisping, and went along the lines of how he keeps himself looking so fit. During the Open Workouts, fighters were asked questions about what the audience could expect from the fight. Bisping, who currently holds the title as middleweight champion, in turn, really put on a show by taking his shirt off and replying “I was born this way.”

Lean and mean, Guan Wang has his game face on as he shows off his technique. Fighters were asked questions about their what the audience could expect from the fight during the Open Workouts, and I found myself becoming more and more interested in the sport as the day progressed.

rsz_ufc4 (1)Girl Power! Wu Yanan, nicknamed Mulan, shows us that women can be tough too. At a young age of 21, this fighter coins the term ‘cute but intimidating.’

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As the first Asian brand to collaborate with the UFC, AirAsia intends to create opportunities for people in Asia by scouting and training new fighters. Kathleen Tan, President of AirAsia North Asia, and Kelvin Chang, Vice President of UFC Asia Pacific, discussed the role of AirAsia’s sponsorship of future Asian fighters.

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As one of the sponsors, AirAsia had its very own booth outside the arena, which provided an area for spectators to commemorate the night by taking photos doing their best fighting stance.

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The Mercedez-Benz Arena was filled to the brim with excited people from all over the world who had gathered to watch the match. I found myself getting really involved with what was happening, cringing during each knockout and yelling when someone I vouched for won.

It was a great night for China, as most of their fighters saw a win, showcasing their skills as a force to be reckoned with in future UFC events. I am grateful to have been part of this experience as an AirAsia Allstar, as I left with a newfound appreciation of the sport, and realised that there is more to it then just two people fighting each other. Most of all, I got to connect with Allstars from different regions, and explore the uniqueness of Shanghai!

Iman Athira
Author

In 2016, Iman embarked on a solo journey through Europe, India, Nepal and South Africa. By writing and teaching yoga, she hopes to inspire others to travel and embrace creativity.