Mixed martial arts has enjoyed a massive surge in popularity over the past decade, evolving from what was initially perceived as a barbaric, primitive sport to well sanctioned, scientific battle. The sport has boomed with the target demographic being males between the ages of 18-34, and has seen an overall rise in viewership.
Mixed martial arts is essentially a collaboration of various fight disciplines from the classic striking bases of Tae Kwon Do and boxing, to technical ground fighting such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling.
Make no mistake about it, MMA when stripped down to its core is basically sanctioned fighting, albeit governed by a global ruleset which aims to put fighter safety at the top of the list, excitement second.
Leading the charge for the sport of MMA in Asia is the Singapore-based ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC), which has frequented countries like Malaysia and the Philippines and introduced the sport to countries like Cambodia and China.
ONE FC’s knowledge of the Asian market has proven to be crucial in raising the profile of the sport. The organization has held multiple shows across iconic Asian cities and has ramped up its production this 2014, which includes a blockbuster deal to stage at least 10 shows per year in mainland China.
In destinations where MMA is just starting to gain traction, ONE FC has penetrated the local scene and has given local fighters the opportunity to fight in front of a world stage. Such was the case when ONE FC recently visited Phnom Penh – a particular market that had little to no knowledge of MMA.
This October 17, ONE FC is returning to one of its bread and butter destinations in Kuala Lumpur, holding an event called ROAR OF TIGERS in the historic Putra Stadium where ONE FC has enjoyed success before.
Headlining the card is Australian featherweight firebomb, “Ruthless” Rob Lisita (14-6), who’s taking on unbeaten Russian kickboxing champion, Marat Gafurov (9-0) in a battle of warriors that’s expected to be an instant classic.
The co-main event features Kuala Lumpur’s own Peter Davis (8-3), an MMA fighter who is a fixture in local TV shows and commercials as an actor and model. Davis takes on former URCC standout, Vaughn “The Spawn” Donayre (7-2) in a clash of vicious lightweights that’s sure to captivate the audience with action and excitement.
Both main event matchups promise fireworks, and it’s hard to tell at this point which one is more highly anticipated. For starters, Lisita has never been in a boring fight and always presses the action, so his fight against the technically gifted fighter Gafurov is interesting to say the least.
Although Donayre was not able to give a good account of himself in his last fight against Mohamed Walid, a bout which he lost in just a little over a minute, the Filipino is still considered a solid contender in a stacked lightweight division. Davis is no slouch either, stepping into the cage unbeaten in Kuala Lumpur.
One of the most important parts of MMA is not just the fighting itself, but also fighter development. The storylines are set and all fighters are ready to give everything they have and leave nothing inside the cage.
There are very few sporting events more exciting than mixed martial arts, and fans in Asia are very fortunate to have ONE FC locally pushing the envelope of how an MMA event is to be experienced. The sport has undoubtedly grown exponentially, and it seems the potential is limitless.
ONE FC is on the verge of something absolutely beautiful and what they are doing with the sport, and how they’re spreading its awareness is like wildfire.
At this rate, mixed martial arts will become a mainstream sport and ONE FC believes the fans in Asia are ready – of which the organization is poised to be the undisputed king of adrenaline-pumping action.
For more information about ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC), kindly log on to their website at www.onefc.com. For latest news and upcoming fights, be sure to check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ONEFCMMA
.: Peace Out :.