UFC, ONE in Asian Head-to-Head Bout

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UFC, ONE in Asian Head-to-Head Bout

Post by Hamilcar on Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:02 pm

UFC, ONE in Asian Head-to-Head Bout
By Carlos Cinco

Singapore-based mixed martial arts organization ONE Championship is looking to up the ante in the Asian market as US rival Ultimate Fighting Championship launches in the Philippines in May.

ONE Championship is set to hold its own blockbuster event on April 24 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Both organizations rule their respective regions and can lay claim to raising the profile of mixed martial arts, one of the world’s fastest-rising sports.

One man who revels in the challenge of breaking into the new markets is ONE Championship’s chief executive, Victor Cui.

“I really feel the emergence of a global duopoly of East versus West,” said Cui, in an interview with Sherdog.com.

Cui is a multinational himself, born and raised in Canada but with Filipino origins.
His familiarity with both Eastern and Western culture makes him a good candidate for the immense task of bringing MMA to Asia.

ONE Championship, established in 2011, is gradually building toward dominating the region, having held successful shows in countries such as Cambodia and Indonesia, where mixed martial arts is not yet a household term.

The organization successfully staged the first-ever professional MMA event in mainland China last December, with a spectacular card in Beijing featuring the country’s best professionals and prospects — including a slam-bang main event featuring cage veteran Ji Xian and young prospect Song Ya Dong.

With successes across the region, Cui takes pride in ONE being the top dog in the East, while still acknowledging its Western counterpart.

“You’ve got UFC in the West, ONE Championship as the biggest in the East.

“You see the storyline of East versus West play out in almost every industry you can think of, from Apple versus Samsung, YouTube versus Youku, Twitter versus Weibo, Facebook versus Renren,” Cui said.

“If you compare, UFC has got a 90 percent market share in the States. We’ve got a 90 percent market share in Asia.

“UFC is 90 percent Caucasian, we’re 90 percent Asian, 10 percent non-Asian. We’re filling the biggest stadiums. We’ve got the biggest gates, biggest attendance,” Cui said.

ONE Championship has grown to widespread popularity in the region since launching four years ago.

Beginning with little-known local fighters starring in events, it has transformed into featuring transcendent superstars in its home countries.

ONE Championship continues to scour every inch of Asia for the best talent to develop.

Now in the Philippines, names like Eduard Folayang of Team Lakay are becoming well-known and recognized as skillful fighters.

In Malaysia, Ann Osman, the nation’s first professional women’s MMA fighter, has become a global superstar whose reach has extended even to the Western hemisphere.

The potential reach of ONE Championships is supported by the organization’s emphasis on building television and live audiences.

“We have a television reach of over one billion viewers. We’ve got fantastic blue-chip sponsors on board, and UFC has the best sponsors on board,” Cui said.

Both UFC and ONE Championship are redefining the boundaries of sports entertainment, doing their best to develop MMA into a global phenomenon.

The big-name potential of the brands extend beyond the cage steel.

Ronda Rousey, the UFC women’s bantamweight champion, recently starred in the box office hit “Fast and Furious 7” with Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker.

In Asia, Peter Davis is a cross-over star, modeling and acting as well as a star of ONE’s lightweight division.

Osman carries the flag for women’s MMA, alongside former women’s boxing champion Ana Julaton.

With stars such as these, it’s no wonder more and more people are getting into the sport, which was once considered brutal and barbaric.

With increasingly stringent rules and governing bodies putting the health and safety of the fighters first, the face of MMA has changed over the years, with organizations like UFC and ONE Championship taking the lead.

As UFC prepares for Fight Night Manila, ONE Championship will also take to the stage.
And while the two organizations go head-to-head in a skirmish for global supremacy on the battlefield of MMA, the fans will reap the benefits.

ONE Championship is back in Manila on April 24, featuring a main event with ONE welterweight world champion Ben Askren defending his title against top contender Luis Santos.

It’s action that fans would certainly not want to miss.

Getting Cage-y Cross-over stars going from the mat to the silver screen help raise the profile of the fledgling sport


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Re: UFC, ONE in Asian Head-to-Head Bout

Post by TeamJohnPerretti on Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:38 pm

Keep up the great work Victor.


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