Friday, May 24, 2013

My Experience at The ONE FC Asian MMA Summit Singapore

Earlier this month, I went down to Singapore for a 3 days 2 nights trip with some bloggers, journalist and fighters for the ONE FC Asia MMA Summit 2013. The summit was held from 2-4 May at Marina Bay Sands Expo.

Day 1 - We departed from KL Sentral to Singapore via shuttle bus at noon. The journey down to Singapore via Malaysia–Singapore Second Link (Tuas) didn't take too long as we managed to arrive at Grand City Park Hotel around 6.30pm despite the peak hours upon passing through the checkpoint.


After checking into our respective hotel rooms, some of us washed up and prepared for the 8pm Cocktail Reception at FUSE, Hotel Lobby Tower 2 in MBS. Choulyin and I didn't make it for the cocktail reception as she needed to do her work in the hotel and I had more time to rest after the long journey.

Day 2 - We woke up and had our breakfast at 8am, left the hotel at 8.30am and the journey to MBS Expo takes roughly about 15 minutes with on board free WiFi service on the bus. Currently there's a few shuttle buses in Malaysia that have on board free WiFi services but the amount is still very limited and the bus fare sometimes can cost double the normal buses that is without free WiFi services.



We quickly head to the media registration counter to register ourselves, got our tags and had coffee and tea before the session starts.



Some of the bloggers took the chance to mingle around with Loren Mack, the PR Manager for ONE FC.



The ballroom where the summit was held. It was a full house and some of the members of media were seen standing at the back although the management have added chairs for us.



The stage, nicely designed. The chairs and table were even following the sophisticated back drop design. The session started at almost 10am.



Mr Victor Cui, a Canadian businessman and the CEO / Owner of ONE FC gave the opening speech.


Renzo Gracie a brazilian fighter gave the keynote about The Global Duopoly of MMA. The brazilian fighter had a six-fight contract with the UFC in December 2009 and faced former UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes on April 10, 2010, at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


Jason Lo, CEO of TuneTalk talks about Riding the Growth of MMA Through Sponsorship. Recently, TuneTalk has been organizing MIMMA, Malaysian Invasion Mixed Martial Arts which is the first largest All-Malaysian Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Amateur Tournament to be showed on television in Malaysia. MIMMA aims to nurture and grow local talents from the MMA scene by preparing a platform for amateurs to contend and put their highly honed skills and countless hours of dedicated training to the test. Recently I have also blogged about MIMMA semi-finals event (link here).


Jason Lo was indeed a funny guy and most of the time he would crack jokes and make a fool out of himself or someone just to make his speech to be more interesting and I appreciate his effort in doing that.


Richard Jay Franklin, who has been fighting in a lot of UFC fights and the recent one was just last year also did gave a speech about his experience, how he started off an career as a teacher but somehow decided to do MMA full time and successfully attract the attention of UFC's. My very first impression when I looked at his face was,"This guy looks like Jim Carrey, not that he's the buffed version of Jim Carrey but he actually looks like Jim Carrey who's acted in Kick Ass 2 which is yet to be released."


Then comes a speech by John Vamvakitis from YouTube, that tells us about the era of sports related to online media where we can catch some of the fights live or highlights of the events on YouTube.



Mark Ralmondi from the New York Post touched about Why the Mainstream Media is Attracted to MMA.


Topic forum about Global Sports Entertainment with Mark Cooke from Motortrader and Dato Razlan Razali from Sepang International Circuit moderated by Steve Dawson.


Topic forum Perception of MMA by the Mainstream Media with Greg Savage from Sherdog and John Keefer from Craveonline moderated by Steve Dawson.


Topic forum Rising Global Demand for MMA Sports Programming with Petter Hutton from Fox Sports and Leonard Asper from Fight Network which was also moderated by Steve Dawson. After the third forum, we had a short tea break and then we were ushered into a function room for a smaller group forum discussion about Trends in MMA Journalism.

Left to right: Loren Mack (Moderator), Wesley De Souza (The Fight Nation), Lili T (MMA in Asia) and James Goyder (Combat Asia)
There are a few things being discussed in this forum:-
1. How do we get mainstream coverage for MMA.
2. Contact sharing like Yahoo that is covering MMA, how do we make it relevant for other country.
3. Starting our own website and make it relevant to MMA.

The members of the media have asked about what it takes to become a MMA journalist and how to be different from all the other MMA journalist. For the first question - it's the passion for MMA, persevere, constantly writing and improve on it, see from a new angle, meet new people and always make sure the news is legit. Now for the second question - find or do something that other people don't want to write about and always try to get a chance to get the insights from the fighters two (2) weeks before their upcoming fight.

Here's the best part if you are interested to be a MMA writer, you'll need:-
1. Dedication, explore resources & information must be reliable.
2. First hand information by developing relationship with the people who can provide them.
3. Spread the news with all sort of social media platform available in your country.

The last session of the day was the highly anticipated sharing by guest speakers Robert Lee & Phoebe Lee about their brother, Bruce Lee's life journey. I wanted to tell you guys about the things they said but it would be better if you guys can go rent or buy the movie called Bruce Lee, My Brother.

Robert Lee, a musician and younger brother to Bruce Lee.
Robert Lee showing some of the fight expert how Bruce Lee once feel the movement from the opponents and counter them with 'feel'.


Phoebe Lee, the eldest sister of Bruce Lee and also the closest one. She did not learn English like her other siblings did but she speaks average casual English conversation through out the session. Somehow the translator did a really bad job in translating Cantonese to English.

Phoebe Lee


After the session, the bloggers and members of the media went back to the smaller function room to ask more questions to Robert Lee and Phoebe Lee regarding Bruce Lee. That's the end of Day 2.

Day 3 - We went over to MBS Expo at 9am and had breakfast just like how we did on Day 2 but this time we carried our luggages along. The first session started a little later than the scheduled time.



The first session was topic forum Asian MMA - The New Global Superpower with Bubble Aguilar from URCC, Niko Han from Synergy MMA and Mun Hong Jung from Road FC that answered the moderator the reason why he joined the ONE FC network was simply because he likes to work with Victor Cui.



Next was the topic forum Asian MMA Developement League with Victor Cui and Matt Hume (who is currently training fighters for the Ultimate Fighting Championship and DREAM).

Fighter Development with the ONE Network Gyms, curriculum must be all encompassing:-

Basic Boxing, Dutch Cross Fight Kickboxing,
Muay Thai for MMA, Takedowns and TD defense,
Guard work - Playing guard, recovering guard, passing guard
Dominant position - holding & transitioning
Position flow drills, reversals & sweeps
Getting up
Submission flow drills
Submission break down.
Sparring - one step, flow, light, full
Conditioning, diet, weight cutting, mental preparation,
last but not least Cross Gym Smokers.



The very last agenda on the list was the ASIAN MMA AWARDS 2013 presented by The Fight Nation. Victor Cui won the Man of the Year Award against Dana White, Mun Hong Jung, Mike Haskamp and Bjorn Rebney.



The Most Exciting Global Promotion (ASIAN MMA AWARDS 2013) went to ONE FC. After the award giving ceremony, we waited for the bus to pick us up at 2.30pm and we left immediately back to KL so that some of us can vote on the Malaysian General Election 2013 which was on the very next day. For me, this summit is gradually a sign that MMA has been growing in Asia's market specifically in South East Asia. I've learnt that fighters trained hard to win and blog writers like myself just have to keep writing and writing with never dying passion.
A group photo of the delegates, excluding myself and Missyblurkit!
The last three days will be remembered as the catalyst that ignited the second phase of exponential growth for every spectrum of Asian MMA; from the grassroots, to the sponsors, promotions, fighters and more. The huge success of this Summit, where 500+ delegates consisting of MMA industry leaders, international media, CEO’s of blue chip companies and partners from around Asia, has been possible. The benefits of alliances formed, knowledge gained and networks extended will be evident in the days ahead as we continue to grow MMA as a united and cohesive Network.


For more updates on ONE Fighting Championship™, please visit www.onefc.com and follow them on Twitter @ONEFCMMA and Facebook at www.facebook.com/ONEFCMMA.


.: Peace Out :.