Mailman Journal: UFC Seoul
Updated: Jun 4, 2019
In the third and final UFC Asia event of the year, the Mailman UFC team visited Seoul, South Korea. After several changes in the main card schedule, Benson Henderson took on Jorge Masvidal, whilst two Chinese fighters, Yao Zhikui and Ning Guangyou, both fought in the prelims.
Our team arrived on Wednesday morning after an early flight from Hongqiao, we were staying at the Intercontinental Parnas in Gangnam area with the global UFC team and all the fighters so it was great to wander around and bump into a lot of the them. In the afternoon, we had arranged exclusive interviews with both the Chinese fighters, talking through their preparation for the fight and how they felt out here. Ning Guangyou was the favorite for his fight, while Yao was up against a tough opponent who had competed in wrestling in the 2008 Olympics. Both seemed positive after having spent their training camp outside of China, Ning in Thailand with Tiger Muay Thai and Yao with Blackzilians in the US.
Thursday as usual was the Ultimate Media Day, an opportunity for us to capture footage of the main card fighters and the 5 guest fighters that UFC had sent over. The event took place in the nearby CoEx mall so it was only a short walk in the sub-zero temperatures. Sam and Vincent led the way interviewing around 10 of the fighters, having a great a chat with guest fighter Mark Hunt about his Chinese nickname. In the afternoon, the team worked on the videos as we received content from the UFC Fan Village at a nearby mall.
Friday was the Weigh Ins, and we’d prepared for both of the Chinese fighter’s coaches to film the event with a GoPRO. This was the first time that UFC fans could witness the Weigh Ins like this, with the video becoming extremely popular on our UFC social channels. In the evening, we met up with the 4 Chinese media invites and took them out for a traditional Korean dinner, before David and Mike G arrived from Shanghai. On the Saturday, we arrived at the event early to get set up in the media room before we were able to head up to the arena to catch some of the fights. In an unexpected turn of event, we realised that we were sitting just in front of Dong Hyun Kim’s family and were able to enjoy his TKO in the main card event. Unfortunately both Chinese fighters suffered defeat in the prelims, with Yao being taken to hospital after a fractured arm.
On Sunday, we enjoyed a late breakfast before having to head off to the airport and catch our afternoon flight back to Shanghai. The event was another huge success online in China, reaching 8.5 million reads on Weibo, and huge engagement for both Chinese fighters. The Mailman UFC team will be back for the next Asia event ready to crush it.