1) What are your short- and long-term goals for One FC?
The media has labeled ONE Fighting Championship as the UFC of Asia because of our size. At 500 million homes, we have the biggest media reach in Asian history for MMA. We also have the biggest and highest quality of Asian fighters. So already, we are 10x bigger than Pride FC ever was in terms of these metrics. My short term goal is to put on exciting fights that fans want to see. In the long run, ONE Fighting Championship will take our current leadership position in Asia and introduce the sport of MMA to the 3.9 billion people that live in Asia.
2) Antonio Braga Neto, Gregor Gracie and Phil Baroni are some of the big draws for the next event. What led you to pick them?
At ONE Fighting Championship, we want to put on the most exciting fights in Asia with world-class talent. Our goal is to put on explosive and exciting fights that the fans want to see. Our primary focus is on Asian fighters. However, we will bring fighters that have a strong Asian fan base already. For example, Braga Neto is a young rising star who has an Asian fan base already because he used to work at Evolve MMA in Singapore and he also fought for the Art of War in China. Gregor Gracie is a superb fighter who also has a strong Asian fan base. And Phil Baroni has had some of the most exciting fights at Pride FC in the past.
3) How have you been going about adding athletes to your roster?
The majority (90%+) of fighters have multi-fight contracts at ONE Fighting Championship. We are also in confidential discussions with many fighters in Asia at the moment.
4) Do you practice Jiu-Jitsu and MMA? What brought you to investing in the sport?
I have a black belt in Taekwondo and I used to box recreationally as a kid. That being said, I think that the most effective martial arts for MMA are Muay Thai for striking, Wrestling for takedowns/takedown defense, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for the ground game. Of course, there are many other martial arts that can succeed and we certainly encourage all martial arts. In Asia, we have Karate from Japan, Kung Fu in China, Muay Thai in Thailand, Silat in Indonesia, and so forth. As a result, Asian MMA is going to be a very unique product. It’s going to be just as exciting as the UFC, but you will see a variety of different styles at work. I’ve been in the sports media industry for the last 15 years and MMA is the only sport that can transcends all geographic, economic, societal, gender, and any other barriers. It’s truly a global sport..and less than 1% of the 3.9 billion people in Asia have ever seen MMA. The market opportunity is enormous. And I just feel fortunate to be in the leadership position that ONE Fighting Championship has.
Singapore Indoor Stadium, Singapore
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Eduard Folayang vs A Sol Kwon
Phil Baroni vs Yoshiyuki Yoshida
Mitch Chilson vs Eric Kelly
Gregor Gracie vs Seok Mo Kim
Zorobabel Moreira vs Andy Wang
Radeem Rahman vs Susovan Ghosh
Leandro Issa vs Soo Chul Kim
Vuyisile Colossa vs Ma Xing Yu
Daniel Mashamaite vs Yodsanan Sityodtong
Eddie NG vs Yuan Chun Bo