The ONE FC Asian MMA Summit Rocks Singapore

Singapore is a paradise. Looking out from my hotel window, the landscape is broken by tall monoliths that seemed to have been left here by an alien race. To the north, the ocean gently slopes into the bay, where hundreds of ships appear frozen in time at the head of a waterfront canal. Skyscrapers, villas, and architecturally flabbergasting hotel chains rise out of the sunset, glittering in the morning’s first light as tourists giddily explore the lush green gardens only a moments walk from the Marina Bay Sands Resort. It is in this idyllic setting that ONE FC’s 2013 Asian MMA Summit will finally come to an end. Or as Victor Cui might say- “A beginning.”

Reaching it’s conclusion today in Singapore, the ONE FC Asian MMA Summit brought together 500 of the biggest “movers and shakers” in all of combat sports. Fighters, promoters, writers, and sponsors collaborated during a three day event in the marvelous Marina Bay Sands resort to discuss the surging momentum behind Asia’s fastest growing market sector.

Spearheaded by ONE FC’s own Victor Cui, the summit has seen the likes of Rich Franklin, Chatri Sityodtong, Greg Savage, and other major names in MMA take the stage to share their experiences and predictions on the growth of mixed martial arts on the Asian front.

We’ve heard about recent sponsorship deals between ONE FC, Disney, and Ironman 3 (to name but a few) and we’ve witnessed how the ONE FC Network plans to grow it’s potential audience to a staggering 1 Billion viewers; A feat that would rival any other televised sports programming in Asia. But the question on everyone’s tongue is virtually same: “What’s next?”

After all the talks, round-table discussions, market analysis, and media commentary, the 500 delegates representing almost every major MMA network on the planet seem to be chomping at the bit for an action plan- a new goal for 2013, the next step in the evolution of Asian mixed martial arts. Will it be a rising number of shows set for 2014? An exclusive partnership with another major endorser? New standards for fighters and gym owners? Whatever the case, we hope that a few major revelations will be in store for us on the final day of the Summit here in Singapore.

As I’m writing this now, the sun is only just rising out of the dulcet blue water, and casting long yellow shadows across the stone floor of my hotel balcony, casting it’s pale light in every direction, and visibly consuming shadows far to the west. It some way it seems to be a metaphor for, not only this summit, but Asian MMA in general.

2 years ago, when ONE FC was started, it was barely a blip on the radar on the world’s largest mixed martial arts promotions. It’s fighters were obscure at best, and irrelevant at worse. But look how quickly things can change with the right backers, vision, and support from the Asian MMA community. In that short amount of time the number of delegates at the last ONE FC summit rose from around 150 to over 500. And with another Summit already planned for six months from now, there’s no doubt that that number will swell even further, extending the ONE FC Network into new countries, reaching new audiences, and gaining new heights. It is the proverbial “rising sun.”

But there is the danger of a company growing too fast, gaining momentum too quickly. Sometimes passion can outweigh logic, and with such a large number of constituents, sponsored gyms, and advertisers, ONE FC must be careful not to overextend themselves. They have been successful so far because they have treated each gym, each fighter, with respect, dignity, and professionalism. But as any organization grows, it’s tactics can become less personal, and more general. In some aspects this shift is necessary to maintain a degree of control and uniformity. But too much shift, without paying attention to the consequences it may have on supporters is a dangerous game to play, especially when the company is still in it’s stages of perpetual infancy.

Yesterday, as I watched the delegates file into the tightly packed ballroom, snapping pictures, anxiously awaiting the opening speech, I realized that ONE FC’s supporters genuinely care about growing the brand. Most of them have realized that ONE FC is their fighters best chance at reaching higher levels of competition and eventually making enough money to comfortably live on.  Everyone here wants the ONE FC and it’s network partners not just to succeed, but to thrive. And the Asian MMA Summit is proving that it will do just that.

As always, we’ll keep you up to date on all the latest information coming out of the Asian MMA Summit, and be sure to watch the recently released video of the event below.


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Categories: Asian MMA, MMA, ONE FC, Singapore


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One Comment on “The ONE FC Asian MMA Summit Rocks Singapore”

  1. May 4, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    Reblogged this on jblair808 and commented:
    The largest mixed martial arts organization in Asia. I wanna be their.

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