|(From left: Matt Hume, Robert Lee, Victor Cui & Phoebe Lee.)|
The largest MMA Summit in the history of Asian MMA took place in Singapore on our elections week. Over 500 selected partners in the exclusive ONE FC Network attended the 3-day event. Apparently they had to reject more people than they invited so it was an absolute privilege to be invited as one of what they call “game changers”. Indeed, those 3 days were definitely eye opening for a fairly new MMA fan and blogger like myself.
The purpose of the Summit was basically to build and strengthen the relationship between ONE FC and the partners like gyms owners, sponsors and promoters, and to inspire and educate one another through keynotes, panels, workshops and success stories. ONE Fighting Championship CEO, Victor Cui, said that no one else does a Summit like this and that ONE FC values relationship and with a close and strong one like a family supporting one another, everyone in the Network can help grow Asian MMA together and profitise together. Amongst the 26 speakers and panelists were big names like Rich Franklin, Matt Hume, Renzo Gracie and of course, Bruce Lee’s siblings, Robert and Phoebe. Steve Dawson was the emcee of the Summit.
Rich Franklin (in snapshot above) shared his inspiring life journey before becoming the UFC Middleweight Champion (he lost the title to Anderson Silva in UFC 77, who’s still undisputed). Like the dude in the comedy Here Comes The Boom, Franklin was a teacher before he became a full-time professional fighter but contrary to the movie, it was a long, patient and hardworking process. Ex-rock star and current CEO of TuneTalk, Jason Lo, addressed his keynote in his usual unconventional, hilarious style (which totally didn’t amuse Franklin I believe). He was chanting “DAP, DAP” (one of the opposition political parties in Malaysia) when he came to our table to mingle. The highlight of the Summit was definitely Robert and Phoebe Lee’s session where they relived their legendary brother’s life and legacy. The pair received a standing ovation twice. What an honour it was to be able to meet them. Matt Hume conducted a workshop presentation on how to train and develop MMA fighters. Perhaps the session that I learnt the most from was Joel Gold’s (Full Contact Fighter), who talked about how he made it in journalism and the MMA apparel business.
As a fan, blogger and business man myself, I was truly inspired and I learned a lot from this Summit. My only regret was that I was too shy to mingle around with all these awesome people. I hope there’s still many chance to come in the future and I just can’t wait to catch the next MMA action around.
|(ONE FC Network group photo. Can you spot me in here?)|
ONE FC is the king of Asian MMA (or the UFC of Asia), with a 90% of marketshare and are expecting to have over 1 billion viewers this year. Despite the quick growth, they believe this is all just the beginning… and I agree ’cause mixed martial arts is still a new sport in many Asian countries and not everyone of them have experienced and properly developed local MMA fighters yet. Also, most mainstream media are not even covering it as a main sport yet. All that being said, I personally believe in a year or two, if the pace of growth maintains, we’ll be able to see just how interesting and huge this thing really is. And I can only wish I could be a part of it more.