With all the coverage that ONE FC has been getting, it was easy to forget that the new promotion which aims to be the biggest and best in Asia, hasn't launched. That all changed the other day with the official press conference in Singapore at which the true extent of the ambition of the organizers was revealed.
The main news to emerge was that ONE FC plans on putting on shows all over Asia, and they plan on doing it in the next three years.
This is the three year schedule for live events which was announced:
Year 1: Singapore, Macau, Seoul, Jakarta, Shanghai, Bangkok
Year 2: Singapore, Macau, Seoul, Jakarta, Shanghai, Bangkok, Manila, Jakarta, KL
Year 3: Singapore, Macau, Seoul, Jakarta, Shanghai, Bangkok, Manila, Jakarta, KL, Mumbai, Shanghai
It seems that the 12,000 capacity Singapore Indoor Stadium where the first show will be taking place on September 3rd is simply the launch pad. After putting on a show or two in this venue, the biggest indoor arena in South Asia, the promotion will be heading on a tour of major Asian cities. The stated aim of CEO/President Victor Cui has been to being the sport to a new generation of fans and he obviously intends to do that by putting on cards in countries which remain relatively untouched by the international MMA explosion, such as as Indonesia and Thailand.
A list of names was also released and it is as eclectic as it is impressive:
Yodsanan Sityodtong: WBA Boxing World Champion
Gregor Gracie: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Champion
Igor Gracie: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Champion
Rolles Gracie: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Champion
Zorobabel Moreira: BJJ World Champion
Mixed Martial Arts
Kevin Bellingon: URCC FC Champion
Mitch Chilson: 2x MCFC Champion
Leandro Issa: BJJ World Champion and MCFC Champion
Adam Kayoom: Malaysia Champion and XFC Champion
Eric Kelly: URCC FC Champion
Soo Chul Kim: Risingon FC Champion
Kwang Hee Lee: Spirit MC Champion
Malik Arash Malawyi: Afghanistan Champion and MCFC Champion
Eddie Ng: Total Combat FC Champion
Anuwat Kaesamrit: 6x Muay Thai World Champion
Ole Laursen: Muay Thai World Champion and K1 Veteran
Orono Wor Petchpun: 5x Muay Thai World Champion
Yoddecha Sityodtong: Muay Thai World Champion
Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn: 6x Muay Thai World Champion
San Da, CMA
Eduard Folayang: Wushu and MCFC Champion
Bao Li Gao: Sanda World Champion
Zhao Zhi Long: Sanda World Champion
Ba Teer: Sanda World Champion
The 'champion vs champion' theme has created some genuine excitement in the MMA world. The concept of seeing fighters who are genuinely the best in the world in their particualr discipline is one which fans will love.
Almost every single fighter on that roster is at the start of their MMA career and has a lot of potential. Although many of them are decorated martial artists, their MMA careers are in their infancy and it will be exciting to see how these fighters develop.
We won't really be able to judge until September 3rd when the show, which will hopefully be streamed live, happens. ONE FC is ticking all the right boxes in the build up.