Macau, a three-hour boat ride from Hong Kong and three hours from Beijing by plane, is a city whose name means “Port of the Bay” in Cantonese, the local language in the province, where Portuguese is also spoken.
So Port of the Bay was the location picked to host the UFC’s maiden venture into China, a dream market for Dana White and his executive counterparts. If all goes to plan, tomorrow’s UFC will be a hit in the Far East.
Macau, like Las Vegas and New Jersey, is a land of high-end casinos, and a number of the sport’s up-and-comers are putting their chips on the main card this Saturday.
Such is the case with the lightweight Jonathan Cruz Tuck, a confident Jiu-Jitsu brown belt who harks from Guam, a US-controlled territory not far from China.
“Everything was planned, and his dream is starting to come true,” explains his Jiu-Jitsu coach Marcão Oliveira of Emirates Team. “He’s been like a son to me and Carol [DeLazzer] ever since he came from Guam to train with us. He comes over and spends some time in Abu Dhabi every year,” recalls Marcão, who himself was in the spotlight a short while back, when he won gold in the masters division at the European No-Gi Championship.
Jon Tuck has six wins on his record, three by way of knockout and the other three by submission, and he will have his work cut out for him when he faces China’s Zhang Tie Quan, who himself tends to do some softening up of his opponents standing before pursuing the tapout on the ground.
“We knew that if Jon kept a perfect record, when the UFC came to Asia he’d get a chance, especially with the Jiu-Jitsu title he holds—he won the Abu Dhabi WPJJC as a blue belt in 2010. Everyone loves him here in the Emirates. Tuck was received with open arms by all the trainers,” recalls Marcão.
Tuck spent two years just training. Most of the time, all he did was Jiu-Jitsu, with and without the gi. “When we realized he was tough, just right on the ground, he started training in MMA again. And on his return, he scored two sweet knockouts to cap off a good record.”
What do you think, gentle reader? Who takes it, the local hero or the foreign newcomer?
UFC on Fuel TV
Cotai Arena, Cotai, Macau
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Rich Franklin vs Cung Le
Thiago Silva vs Stanislav Nedkov
Takanori Gomi vs Mac Danzig
Dong Hyun Kim vs Paulo Thiago
Alex Caceres vs Montonobu Tezuka
Zhang Tie Quan vs Jon Tuck
Yusuhiro Urushitani vs John Lineker
Riki Fukada vs Tom DeBlass
Takeyda Mizugaki vs Jeff Hougland
David Mitchell vs Hyun Gyu Lim