... and tells Greg Beacham at USA Today that "The Mongolian Wolf" could be the first of many Chinese born fighters to find their way into the Zuffa promotion.
"I see China in the same place as we were in the U.S. back in the late '90s, where this thing is kind of gaining some steam and picking up, and these shows are starting to do better ... I'm a realist, and coming into the WEC or the UFC is certainly a huge step in a guy's career. We'll see how he does. Sean (Shelby's) report from China is he's very well-rounded, a really good striker, good on the ground. He's got the record, but we have to see what his level of competition was. I'm excited to see what happens."
So does the undefeated (11-0) China Top Team product live up to the hype? The promotion is aggressively pursuing China as a hotbed for up-and-coming fighters, creating a Chinese language UFC website as well as scouting possible Ultimate Fighter (TUF) locations. But if Zhang goes belly-up in his debut against Pablo Garza, will it give the promotion buyer's remorse and perhaps take some of the luster off a potential far east expansion?