Not only that, but there is enough money to be made working with Kunlun and ONE that Chinese fighters may not see a good reason to make the jump to the UFC.
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A UFC contract offers exposure, but the standard for a three-fight contract is around USD 30k, which is nothing when you consider the travel, health, and training costs that go into preparing a Chinese fighter for Fight Night in Japan, for example. It just doesn't make sense. Athletes in China can take advantage of a domestic system that pays them a wage and promotions like Kunlun that are prepared to shell out 30k per fight for the better fighters. For the elite, especially in Kunlun and other Chinese-operated promotions, there are real fortunes to be made.
Naturally the downside of that system is the shafting the lower-level competitors receive— low or late pay, switching opponents at the last second, unenforceable contracts and other nonsense—but it's a familiar system, a system that keeps its word, shady as it might be, when it comes to the opportunity to make real money. The UFC offers none of that to a Chinese fighter with a limited ability to smack talk and create hype.
The UFC is about glory for a lot of fighters, about competing against the best and proving oneself. That resonates only slightly among Chinese martial artists who must make a living first, seek glory second. A CAA spokesperson said: "Consumers that were expecting a direct debit refund but have not yet received one should submit a claim online as we are unable to automatically refund the small number of direct debit payments remaining due to complexities in those bookings.
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