Saturday marks UFC’s debut in China, plus Jon Tuck’s debut in UFC

On Saturday, November 10, 2012, the Ultimate Fighting Championships, UFC, makes their debut in China. At the same time, Jon Tuck of Pacific Beach, San Diego, CA by way of Mangilao, Guam makes his debut in the UFC.

Not that long ago, the 28 year-old Jon “Super Saiyan” Tuck (6-0 in MMA) arrived in San Diego by way of Mangilao, Guam, a territory of the United States located in the western Pacific.


Guam is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Over the past year, the 5’11”, 155 pound Mixed Martial Artist has been living in Pacific Beach and going through some intense training at The Arena in Point Loma, San Diego, CA under the tutelage of Jeff Clark, Pat Speight, and Kru Mark. He’s also learned much by working out with Marcos Oliveira, Ricardo “Rico” Vieira, Shoyoroll, Joe Duarte, Vince Salvador, K. J. Noons, the list of top people seems endless.

Macao, also spelled Macau, is one of the two special administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China where people with money gamble like there is no tomorrow.

On Saturday, in the first of a proposed series of MMA Shows to take place at the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel in Macao, China, Tuck will be making his UFC Debut as a representative of The Arena MMA Gym, San Diego, the United States and of course Guam. He’ll be taking on the sole Chinese representative, Tiequan Zhang. Macao, also spelled Macau, is one of the two special administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China. It not only has a reputation for being one of the most ridiculously expensive spots in the world, it’s a major gambling hub of the world.

As a backdrop you should learn a little about Jonathan Cruz Tuck’s homeland. The 209 square mile island was the first American territory to fall to the Japanese in World War II, just three days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. It wasn’t until July 21, 1944, almost three years later, that our U. S. Armed Forces returned to the island to liberate its people. It took our troops 21 days and 1,747 lives to recapture the former possession which was heavily defended by 19,000 Japanese troops. It was a gruesome three weeks when the words “Bonzai attack” and “we take no prisoners” were unspoken but implied.

About 700 native Chamorros lost their lives during this period. Even though the people most affected by that calamity would now be in their late ’70s through early ’90s, they would have had an affect on young Mr. Tuck and how he was raised to be so rugged and uncompromising.

Top photo shows Jon Tuck (second from the left) with three of his coaches, Jeff Clark (L), Pat Speight (R). Photo: Jim Wyatt

In the four panels we see Jon Tuck working out with his coach and game planner, Jeff Clark of The Arena MMA gym in Point Loma, San Diego, CA. Things are not always serious. In panel #4, we see the coach and student breaking out in laughter. Photo: Jim Wyatt

Here’s what was learned from our one on one talks. Tuck is very relaxed, casual, to the point matching the guile of a Vegas poker player waiting to call your bluff. After dealing with the broken toe issue, Tuck is in excellent shape, especially after losing 20 pounds. He’s bright, articulate and a quick learner of all things pertaining to the fighting sports. That wasn’t always the case. While growing up he suffered from acute asthma and his parents discouraged his participation in the outdoor sports.

As a youngster he enjoyed surfing, swimming, diving off cliffs, fishing and watching Kung Fu movies. From actors Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Lee, Steven Segal, Jet Lee and Jackie Chan, he developed his interest in the Martial Arts. After competing successfully all over the world, mostly Brazil and the U. S., he caught everyone’s attention by winning the 2010 Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu Jitsu Championship in his weight class.

“I’m not the best, but I’m continually working to be the best” he said, one Sunday at The Arena MMA gym in Point Loma. “At this point, it seems like everything has happened so fast, but believe me, I’ve done a lot of preparation.”

When asked about the give and take, the major negotiating that must have gone on between the powers to be, the UFC, the Chinese, etc., he had no opinion. As far as he’s concerned President Nixon took care of that years ago when he made his historic trip.

He did say the Chinese are fascinated by the Mixed Martial Arts. After all, this is where it supposedly got its start with the teaching in the Shaolin Temples.

And why do you suppose Dana White and his gang are interested in setting up shop in China? Macao, China, the site of their first show in China is within 2-3 hours distance from two billion, hard working people who have more disposable income than most countries combined.

September 9, 2012, UFC was in Taiwan, for their press conference to announce their first ever show featuring headliners Rich Franklin and Cung Le. Also attending, they had Korea’s Dong Hyun Kim plus the only fighter now fighting in the UFC from China, Tuck’s 34 year-old opponent, Tiequan Zhang.

With a record of 18-3-0, TieQuan has strength, heart and more experience in the cage. On the downside, after 21 bouts, he has yet to knock anyone out.

Tuck should be able to overcome TieQuan’s experience after traveling the globe to train, wrestle, box, fight Muay Thai, Gi and No-Gi to as he says, “I’ve been training with the best in order to become the best.”

Since Tuck is fighting the only Chinese on the fight card, you would expect the organizers have put him in a position to be a sacrificial lamb. Don’t tell him that and don’t tell his sponsors – Calvo’s Insurance, Affiliated Lifestyles, J. J. Global, IP&E, IT&E, plus the fight team from The Arena who have been working tirelessly to make certain he’s ready.

As a reminder, this weekend’s UFC on FUEL TV 6 event begins earlier than usual, much earlier, in fact. North American fight fans may want to set their alarms for Saturday’s event by Macau time, which includes a preliminary-card kicking off at 7:15 a.m. ET (4:15 a.m. PT) and the main card at 9 a.m. ET.

UFC on FUEL TV 6 takes place at the Cotai Arena in Venetian Macau Resort Hotel. The main card, including a Rich Franklin (29-6 MMA, 14-5 UFC) vs. Cung Le (8-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC middleweight headliner, airs on FUEL TV, and Facebook carries the prelims. A main-card replay airs later in the day at 7 p.m. ET.

UFC on FUEL TV 6 also features a Stanislav Nedkov (12-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) vs. Thiago Silva (14-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) light-heavyweight co-feature

Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le
Stanislav Nedkov vs. Thiago Silva
Dong Hyum Kim vs. Paulo Thiago
Mac Danzig vs. Takanori Gomi
Alex Caceres vs. Motonobu Tezuka
Jon Tuck vs. Tiequan Zhang
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 7:15 a.m. ET)
John Lineker vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani
Tom DeBlass vs. Riki Fukuda
Jeff Hougland vs. Takeya Mizugaki
David Mitchell vs. Hyun Gyu Lim

Interview with Jon Tuck concerning his broken toe:

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