What has now been theorized for the better part of nearly a month has materialized just moments ago. ONE FC and DREAM have officially entered into a mutually exclusive partnership starting tonight/morning/afternoon (depending on which part of the globe you're currently located on). This means that effective immediately, both promotions can share their fighter roster, enabling DREAM to utilize ONE FC's broadcasting muscle and expand to essentially every Asian market. Once again, the game has changed within the Asian MMA world, and fortunately you're alive to experience it. Lucky you.
Back in July, I published a story entitled 'When One FC takes over MMA in Asia, remember this article,' in which I made the apt comparison of ONE FC's place in the Asian MMA market as being the sole owner of the Infinity Gauntlet. Most of you didn't fully comprehend the elaborate and eloquently constructed parallel I made with the Asian MMA scene and perhaps the greatest Marvel crossover to ever grace comic books. Hey, it's not my fault that you had a healthy childhood which consisted of not locking yourself in your room with a backpack full of comics every weekend. Blame your mom for raising you to be a productive member of society, instead of an introvert that makes obscure references to fantasy games on Twitter. Now nearly five months later, I'm comfortable in proclaiming that the ONE FC + DREAM partnership is the beginning of some intangible form of Voltron that will eventually run (and protect) the Asian MMA universe.
The first co-promoted event is slated for March 31st 2012 in Singapore and it will be appropriately titled 'ONE FC / DREAM in Singapore.' The card will most likely feature Shinya Aoki along with a few other huge names from the JMMA scene. With ONE FC's new partnership, the company now has approximately a 90% market share of Asian MMA fighters within the ONE FC Network. We're talking a grand total of 38 gyms and promotions now under the ONE FC network banner, working in exclusivity with ONE FC. Judging from what I've been hearing, they plan to increase this number exponentially in 2012.
Finally, we have (nearly) all the Asian MMA promotions working in unison for one common goal. In essence, this is what Asian MMA fans always wanted since ProElite/EliteXC teased us with a partnership with Korea's Spirit MC and DREAM back in 2008 -- then Seth Petruzelli ruined it for everyone. With the multitude of co-promotions that are lined up within the ONE FC network, there will undoubtedly be more opportunities for fighters to compete on a regional levels. Let's just hope all organizations in the network agree to adopt ONE FC's 'Pride rules' of soccer kicks and head stomps, since that would be entirely too amazing for words.
While it appears that we won't get the highly rumored co-promotional New Year's Eve show with ONE FC and DREAM, expect a gargantuan co-branded ONE FC/DREAM show to take place in Japan at some point in 2012. It's also been confirmed that ONE FC will have a co-promotional card with URCC, Philippines' largest promotion (and they're also sponsored by Colt 45, which makes Lando Calrissian a very happy man). Normally this article would end here and you guys would build a party float in my honor, however literally as I was writing this, I received confirmation from a ONE FC exec that their next event on February 11th in Jakarta, Indonesia will feature Martial Combat champion Ole Laursen vs CFC Australia champion Bernardo 'Trekko' Magalhaes competing in the main card (but not necessarily headlining the card). I've also been told the ONE FC/DREAM co-branded card going down in March 31st will also feature a unifying title fight between a champion in Korea's Road FC and another reigning champion in Philippines' URCC. That's already like a quadruple-promoted card, and it's not even done yet. It's also important to note that ONE FC considers Russia a part of Asia, so we might see Fedor fighting within the ONE FC network in the near future. That is, if the UFC doesn't accept M-1's offer of squaring Cain Velasquez vs. Fedor Emelianenko in a cage in Moscow, Russia next year.
That's a lot of info to digest this early in the morning, but these are the things that you need to know in order to fully comprehend the immeasurable potential of the future of Asian MMA. All signs point to 'amazing' in 2012.