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Jeka Saragih of Indonesia reacts after his knockout victory over Pawan Maan of India in their lightweight bout during the Road to UFC event at Singapore Indoor Stadium on June 09, 2022 in Singapore. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Road To UFC

Catch Up On Road To UFC

Season 3 Of Road To UFC Kicks Off This Weekend. Recap What Happened On Season 1 And 2 

This weekend, Road to UFC returns for its third season. The groundbreaking “win and advance” tournament gives the top mixed martial arts talent from across Asia a pathway to a UFC contract and has given a spotlight to several significant talents thus far. The opening round takes places across two days, May 18 and 19, at the UFC Performance Institute in Shanghai.

Through two seasons, 11 participants have been awarded UFC contracts, including seven winners from seasons one and two, two finalists from season one and two non-tournament fight winners.

  • China: Rongzhu, Yizha, Zhang Mingyang
  • India: Anshul Jubli
  • Indonesia: Jeka Saragih
  • Japan: Rinya Nakamura, Toshiomi Kazama, Rei Tsuruya
  • South Korea: JeongYeong Lee, HyunSung Park
  • Mongolia: Nyamjargal Tumendemberel

The third edition of the tournament will feature men’s flyweight, bantamweight, and featherweight divisions, and for the first time, the women's strawweight division, as well as non-tournament bouts.

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The athletes will compete in eight-person brackets with the second and third rounds taking place in locations and venues to be announced and the final rounds featuring on a UFC Fight Night.

Road To UFC Season 3 Weigh-In Results 

Before Road to UFC returns, take a look at the alumni who’ve already made their way to the Octagon as official UFC fighters.

Rongzhu

China’s Rongzhu went into Road to UFC Season 2 with redemption on his mind. The 24-year-old lightweight had a trio of UFC bouts in 2021 and 2022, but he went 1-2 and missed weight twice. As he made his way through the tournament, Rongzhu admitted he didn’t handle the opportunity the best and promised to do better should he make it back. He has not yet had his return bout after winning the lightweight bracket with a submission win in February 2024, but everyone involved is hotly anticipating his return.

Zhang Mingyang

The imposing 25-year-old “Mountain Tiger” dealt with some difficulty going from his non-tournament knockout win over Tuco Tokkos in June 2022 to his UFC debut. After more than a year away, which included two cancelled bouts, he finally made his UFC debut at UFC 298: Volkanovski vs Topuria. Against Brendson Ribeiro, Zhang connected with a furious right hand to earn the first-round stoppage in emphatic and impressive fashion.

Zhang Mingyang of China reacts after his knockout victory against Brendson Ribeiro of Brazil in a light heavyweight fight during the UFC 298 event at Honda Center on February 17, 2024 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Zhang Mingyang of China reacts after his knockout victory against Brendson Ribeiro of Brazil in a light heavyweight fight during the UFC 298 event at Honda Center on February 17, 2024 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Anshul Jubli

India’s Anshul Jubli got off to a bright start against Mike Breeden in his UFC debut at UFC 294: Makhachev vs Volkanovski 2. However, the veteran Breeden turned up the pressure in the second and third rounds of the fight after it seemed like Jubli might have the upper hand. It was a learning moment for the 29-year-old, but he showed more than enough reason to believe he will bounce back well from his first professional loss.

Jeka Saragih

Although Jeka Saragih did not win the first rendition of Road to UFC’s lightweight tournament, he showed various reasons why he was a fighter to watch, and it only made sense that he was given an opportunity with the mixed martial arts leader. The 29-year-old striking savant opened his UFC account with a stunning, first-round knockout of Lucas Alexander at UFC Fight Night: Allen vs Craig, which earned him a Performance of the Night bonus as well.

Saragih is scheduled to face Westin Wilson at UFC Fight Night: Perez vs Taira.

Jeka Saragih Delivers A Powerful KO In Round 1 | UFC Fight Night: Allen vs Craig
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Unlock MORE of your inner combat sports fan with UFC Fight Pass! Fighting is what we live for. And no one brings you MORE live fights, new shows, and events across multiple combat sports from around the world. With a never-ending supply of fighting in every discipline, there’s always something new to watch. Leave it to the world’s authority in MMA to bring you the Ultimate 24/7 platform for MORE combat sports, UFC Fight Pass!

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Jeka Saragih Delivers A Powerful KO In Round 1 | UFC Fight Night: Allen vs Craig
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Rinya Nakamura

Japan’s Rinya Nakamura is the most-seasoned alumnus of Road to UFC, having picked up two wins in two fights since winning the bantamweight tournament in season one. Nakamura was one of the standouts during his run in Road to UFC, scoring first-round finishes in each round, including a 33-second knockout win in the final.  “Hybrid” has lamented his inability to replicate those finishes in the Octagon thus far, but the undefeated 29-year-old has given plenty for UFC fans to get excited about.

JeongYeong Lee

After winning Road to UFC’s inaugural featherweight bracket, South Korea’s Jeong Yeong Lee tallied his first UFC win via unanimous decision over Blake Bilder to extend his overall winning streak to eight. He, too, was critical of his performance, saying he only reached 50 percent of his potential, but he’ll have a chance to show more of himself in his second outing in July.

Rinya Nakamura of Japan prepares to face Carlos Vera of Ecuador in a bantamweight fight during the UFC 298 event at Honda Center on February 17, 2024 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Rinya Nakamura of Japan prepares to face Carlos Vera of Ecuador in a bantamweight fight during the UFC 298 event at Honda Center on February 17, 2024 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

HyunSung Park

“Peace of Mind” maintained his undefeated record with a beautiful body shot knockout of Shannon Ross  in his debut at UFC Fight Night: Song vs Gutierrez. The 28-year-old flyweight is yet another exciting new entry in the weight class, having finished all but one of his professional victories.  

(Nyamjargal Tumendemberel  and Rei Tsuruya are scheduled to make their UFC debuts at UFC 302 and UFC 303, respectively)

Order UFC 302: Makhachev vs Poirier