Mailman Journal: UFC Manila Adventure
Updated: Jun 7, 2019
UFC Manila was the first Asia UFC event of the year. Four Chinese fighters fought in this card, and it was the biggest opportunity for UFC to expand their influence in China this year. As the agency running UFC’s social media channel in China, Mailman was invited to Manila to support UFC Manila’s promotion on China social media. In fact, we were the only Chinese media members invited to Manila!
For UFC Manila, Mailman provided different types of content across all social media platforms including Weibo, WeChat and Youku.
We arrived in Manila on May 13th. The Philippines is a nice country that has a lot of die hard MMA fans, and we could feel the heat once we arrived.
Thursday was a busy day for us, starting with morning interviews for two Chinese fighters, Zhang Lipeng and Ning Guangyou. I was really excited to see these guys, as they are two of the biggest names in Chinese MMA, and I’ve been following them for a long time. They shared their preparation for this event and showed their confidence for Saturday’s fights as well. We also got some interesting information from them that fans may not have know before.
In the afternoon, we attended “Ultimate Media Day”. We prepared some question for the fighters who attended media day, and I was really excited for the opportunity to pick their brains. We had a chance to talk closely with top-level MMA stars like Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, Former WEC featherweight champion Urijh Faber, Mark Munoz, and many others. From these interviews, we got some first hand information for Chinese fans, including the insider scoop that Faber and his gym, Team Alpha Male, is doing a fighter development program in China to help take Chinese MMA fighters to the next level! After media day, two other Chinese fighters from China Top Team, Li Jingliang and Yaozhoukui showed up and had a great conversation with us.
This whole time we were capturing some quality video content to share with fans, and we were able to produce these videos super fast in order to get them on Youku and to share with PPTV and LeTV early the next day.
Friday’s official weigh-ins were the next big checkpoint for the fighters, and it was tense! The most popular Octagon Girl, Arianny Celeste, showed up, which was awesome to say the least. All four Chinese fighters made weight and showed up in great shape. It seemed like they were ready to go!
In the mean time, UFC’s WeChat released well-wishes videos from China UFC Ultimate fans. 50 videos were submitted from fans, and I could tell that it inspired the fighters to put on an awesome show on Saturday night!
When Fight Night came around, all I could think was, “Here we go! Fight night is here!” Yao Zhikui opened show for UFC Manila, and after a three round war with Ticman, Zhikui won by split decision! Great start for Chinese fighters! When this happened, UFC’s Weibo account uploaded a pre-designed graphic for Zhikui’s victory, which got a great reaction from fans. But that wasn’t the end. Ning Guangyou and Li Jingling delivered two more victories giving Chinese fighters a record of 3-0! On social media, fans went crazy for the Chinese fighters’ great performance! This was the best performance that Chinese fighters have shown inside the octagon, bar none. In the end, Chinese fighters ended up with a 3-1 record that night. China was the hottest country participating in UFC Manila, and in my mind they had the most impressive performance!
UFC’s impact was evident on social media, which was a great pay off for the work we put into the social media strategy. #UFCManila got over 11m reads and there were 650k views for the video we created several weeks before. UFC Manila was the biggest and best UFC event on social media ever, even besting the Mayweather- Pacquiao fight (#PacvsMay Fight of the century hashtag only got 8.5m read)!
Can’t wait for the next Mailman adventure. Enjoy these pics in the meantime!