Satirical video shared with claim it shows UFC player 'condemning attack on Chinese women'

·4 min read

A doctored video of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) player Michael Chandler has been shared in Chinese-language social media posts that claim he is condemning an attack on a group of women in China in June 2022. But the original clip, in which Chandler challenges his opponents to a fight, predates the incident. The Chinese subtitles superimposed on the video were intended as a satirical commentary on the attack.

The video was shared here on Twitter on June 12, 2022.

The one-minute clip shows Chandler shouting into a microphone held by US comedian and sports commentator Joe Rogan.

The Chinese caption reads: "Those gangsters in Tangshan have annoyed this UFC fighter, even if they took him on together those bastards wouldn't dare bully this player whose sense of justice is so strong! The loss of humanity in China is the most terrifying thing".

Chinese subtitles superimposed on the video suggest Chandler is challenging men who assaulted a group of women in the city of Tangshan, Hebei province, to a fight.

Parts of the text translate as: "Those men in Tangshan in China / Only cowards beat up women / If you are real men / Come to UFC to fight with me... Their violent actions against women are unforgivable / They are trampling on the dignity of women."

Screenshot taken on June 6, 2022, of the misleading Twitter post

Nine people were arrested over the attack on June 10, which put two women in hospital, authorities said.

Video of the incident was shared widely online, renewing debate about sexual harassment and gender-based violence in China -- where the conversation around women's rights has grown in recent years despite pressure from a patriarchal society, censorship and patchy legal support.

The doctored video of Chandler has also been shared on Twitter here, here and here, Weibo here, here and here, and on Douyin (China's version of TikTok) here, here and here.

It has been viewed more than 30,000 times.

While some users questioned the veracity of the claim, others appeared to be misled.

"Even a foreigner feels super angry," said one China-based user.

Another wrote: "What kind of man beats women, come and fight one-on-one if they have the guts....."

But the original video predates the Tangshan assault, and the doctored version appears to have been made as satire intended to express anger over how women were treated in the incident in Tangshan.

One social media user who shared the video wrote: "Let me be clear, this is the work of Chinese netizens. It mainly expresses anger at the people who beat these women."

Other such posts can be seen on Twitter and Douyin.

UFC challenge

In the original video, Chandler is calling out opponents he wants to fight in the future.

"I'm ready to come back [in the] main event! There is not one MMA [mixed martial arts] fan on the planet that doesn't wanna see me rematch you, Charles," he said.

Charles Oliveira is a Brazilian professional mixed martial artist.

Chandler also names, among others, the UFC's chief business officer Hunter Campbell and its president, Dana White, saying he would face Irish fighter Conor McGregor if the pair did not let him fight in the championship.

He also says: "I am the most entertaining lightweight on the planet! But I want to up the stakes, Conor. I want you at your biggest, I want you at your baddest and I want you at your best.

"You and me at 170 this summer, this fall, this winter. Holler at your boy! God bless! I will see you at the top!"

Keyword searches found the clip is the same as footage from the one-minute, 42-second mark of a video published by UFC on YouTube on May 8, 2022.

The video's description states Chandler "called out a mix of opponents he would like to face in the future" after winning a fight on May 7.

Below are comparisons of the doctored video shared in the misleading posts (L) and the original video uploaded by UFC (R):

Screenshot comparisons of the video shared in the misleading posts (L) and the video uploaded by UFC (R)

As of June 20, only Chinese UFC fighter Zhang Weili has publicly commented on the Tangshan attack.

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