‘Soccer Kicks and Bean Dip’ would be the only appropriate name for an MMA themed Mexican restaurant. It would be a risky business endeavor in order to capture a very niche market, a market that could only be expressed by an audience that appreciates the symbiotic relationship of empanadas and people getting punched in the face. For One FC, their goal is to capture the seemingly underdeveloped market of MMA in Asia. The head of the organization, Victor Cui, talked with us about his plan to assemble Cris Cyborg vs. Marloes Coenen for One FC’s inaugural show, along with what he wants to see in the future for One FC. Unfortunately for us, MMA themed Mexican restaurants will not be part of this hypothetical future.
[important title=”So what’s the deal with women fighting in One FC?”]”Yes, I do want female fighters. If they are the best in what they do, whether it is muay-thai in Thailand, Silat in Indonesia, Kung Fu in China, Karate in Japan, or Taekwondo in Korea, Asia has been the birthplace and home of martial arts for the last 5,000 years. MMA is a natural part of the evolution process. Today, One Fighting Championship is the largest MMA organization in Asia by a very large margin, no one else has 500 million viewers it’s only the beginning. We will have one billion viewers before the end of this year and I want to showcase the best Asian world champions and martial artists to the Asian population of 3.9 billion…I don’t care if it’s male or female, a champion is a champion. People want to see the best Asian fighters and One Fighting Championship has already rounded up some of the richest talent in Asia. Wait until you see the other fighters that we have signed up, you can expect some major announcements in the future. So yes, I do want female fighters if they are the best in what they do.”[/important]
[important title=”How’s the heavyweight situation in One FC?”]”I don’t see too many Asians who are 6″5 and 265 lbs. So it’s going to be a struggle to get that division as deep as our lightweight or bantamweight divisions will be. Nevertheless, I plan to put on the occasional super fight between two star heavyweights. In a nutshell, my goal is just to put on explosive, adrenaline-filled fights that the fans want to see.”[/important]
[important title=”It seems that One FC is going for entertainment over rankings when establishing fights.”]”I believe in putting on exciting fights that the fans want to see. It’s simple. Rankings are BS and full of politics. Fans only want to see the best fighters go at it. And One Fighting Championship is on a whole different scale from anything that’s ever happened in Asia. Just to give you perspective, I am spending 15x more per event, yes, 1,500% more than what I did when I ran ESPN’s small test pilot project (Martial Combat) last year. The fans wants to see exciting fights between world champions in huge live venues with world-class TV production. Add all of that with Pride FC + UFC rules and you have the most exciting platform in Asia. One Fighting Championship 1 is going to be held in the Singapore Indoor Stadium with thousands of screaming fans and 500 million viewers. There simply isn’t anything that is world-class in Asia at the moment.”[/important]
[important title=”How will people outside of Asia be able to see One FC’s first event?”]”Our core target audience is Asia. We are the UFC of Asia, featuring the best Asian fighters. We are not interested in anything else because I am Asian and I know the Asian market cold. Also, the market in Asia is enormous, 3.9 billion people. Will I put on the occasional fight that people want to see like a Baroni vs Yoshida fight under Pride FC + UFC rules? Yes of course, I will do that. But, One Fighting Championship is really about Asian fighters fighting for Asian fans. People over here want to see a real muay thai world champion from Thailand against a real sanda world champion from China go at it in mixed martial arts. Of course, we will showcase other world champions who live here in Asia like BJJ World Champion Zorobabel Moreira because they have a strong Asian fan base already. But I don’t really see a business model of trying to compete with the UFC. One Fighting Championship is really about local content for the local market. So, to your question, yes, we will likely stream the event live via the internet, but we are not expecting a lot of viewers from outside of Asia. Given the magnitude of One Fighting Championship and our Asian roster of fighters, I know that a lot of Asians will be tuning in to watch our first event.”[/important]
[important title=”We just found out that Shinya Aoki will be in Singapore on September 3rd. How is One FC’s relationship with the Japanese MMA scene?”]”I didn’t realize that Shinya Aoki was going to be in town. If he’s here, it’s not because of One Fighting Championship. I know he’s a member of the Evolve Fight Team and he comes here regularly to train at Evolve MMA here. It’s probably that for sure, but to be upfront, One Fighting Championship has been in discussions with Shinya Aoki as well as a lot of the top fighters in Japan. However, we want to do the right thing. We won’t sign anyone unless it works for DREAM FC and the other major owners of Japanese MMA. One Fighting Championship is not here to hurt Japanese MMA. We are here to work together with them. You might have noticed that our first press release was short on Japanese fighters; we did that out of respect to all the Japanese owners. Are we interested in all the top Japanese fighters? Of course and absolutely. But we are not going to rock the boat to get them. I plan to hold a major event in Japan and I would only do it with the blessing of everyone in Japan. Things work very differently here in Asia. We want to work hand-in-hand with DREAM FC and everyone else here in Asia. “[/important]