As you should know by now, the reason why these prolific names are gathering here in Singapore, is because of the inaugural ONE Asia MMA Summit which will be held at the iconic Marina Bay Sands Resort. Around 150 of the most important people in Asian MMA will be in attendance to discuss issues that will directly impact the growth of our beloved sport in Asia.
Attendees include representatives from the biggest MMA promotions, the most prominent gyms, global sponsors, top media companies, and government partners who make up the powerhouse that is the ONE FC Network.
This summit has been hailed by many industry leaders and critics as being a watershed moment for Asian MMA and the ONE FC Network. The question that we’re sure many people are asking is “why is it so important?” We took the liberty to sit down, put on our thinking caps (the non-alcoholic ones) came up with a list of reasons on why the ONE Asia MMA Summit is such an important event not just for ONE FC, not just for the ONE FC Network, but for Asian MMA on a whole.
It’s the first event of its kind ever
This summit is history in the making. There has never been any other event of its kind where so many luminaries of the sport will be gathered to work towards a common goal, that being the growth of Asian MMA. Putting aside the possible benefits that will come out of this, the event itself is a milestone for Asian MMA. Something of this magnitude has never been done anywhere else in the world before, but now it’s being done in Asia. That alone is something that everyone (including the fans) involved with the rebirth of MMA in our region can, and should be proud of.
The Summit will showcase the best in the business of Asian MMA
The lists of individuals who make up the panel of speakers represent the who’s who of Asian MMA. Chatri Sityodtong (CEO, Evolve MMA), Bubbles Aguilar (Co-founder of URCC), Moon Hong Jung (CEO of ROAD FC), Luke Pezzutti (Co-owner of Cage Fighting Championship), Matt Hume, Peter Mclean (CEO Uppercut Energy Group), Anthony Lin (President and CEO of Fairtex Group), Gary Lim (CEO of thatmmashop), Heath Sims and Mark Sangiao are just some of the names who make up the panel of speakers for the summit. All these individuals are industry leaders in their own right and will be sharing valuable information and insight into their own respective field of expertise.
When great minds meet, great things will happen
As we’ve mentioned before this will be a meeting of the minds. There are representatives from every aspect of the Asian MMA world involved in this. From promotions to gyms to media companies to sponsors to fighters of the ONE FC Network, everyone will be present to share ideas and work towards the goal of making Asian MMA an unstoppable force to be reckoned with. Who wins the most from this meeting of the minds? The fans win because with all these great minds working together and synergism, the sport will only get better faster.
Start of new business relationships
We’ve been talking a lot about how ideas will be shared amongst gyms, promotions, sponsors, etc however; no one can deny that another important opportunity from this summit is for companies to network with each other. The ONE FC Network has become some sort of a living breathing self sufficient organism by itself, housing companies that cover all aspects of Asian MMA. The summit will present the opportunity for all these different companies to have a chance to meet and interact. Sure people can Tweet and e-mail each other but nothing beats a handshake. This might be the starting point of future partnerships and a greater synergy between members of the ONE FC Network. Be it media companies working with smaller promotions, global sponsors working with fighters or even MMA apparel companies working with retailers, the possibilities are endless.
The creation Amateur MMA Circuit in Asia
The Summit will be covering many issues that will impact Asian MMA such as safety, fan engagement through the media, the future of the sport, etc. One topic that stands out the most is the creation of an amateur MMA circuit in Asia. Amateur MMA events have been lacking for the better part in the history of MMA in Asia. Even when there are events for young upcoming fighters, it’s usually marred with bad organization, a lack of fighter safety and ill matched up fights. The Asian MMA scene would benefit a lot if a professionally managed amateur circuit is set up to give young fighters an avenue to ply their trade, learn and grow as fighters. An amateur MMA scene in Asia is not an option, it’s a necessity for the sport to grow and it’s good to know that this issue will be addressed at the summit.
Bringing sponsors closer to fighters and gyms
We know we stated earlier that the summit may spark off partnerships/ business ventures between different companies within the network but we really think that sponsorship is one of the most important issues that need to be addressed. Fighters in Asia need to fight full time and the only way they can do this, besides fighting, is through sponsorship. It’s a known fact that in North America, a large portion of a fighter’s income comes from advertising/ sponsorship. This is something the Asian MMA scene needs to work towards. If fighters are paid well and can earn a living as a fighter, they’ll train harder, get better, put on better fights and Asian MMA will prosper. That’s a no brainer. This summit might just be the catalyst to speed up this issue by bringing fighters and their management closer to potential sponsors.
To simply put it, it’s another big step for Asian MMA
First there was the announcement of the ONE FC Network, something that many thought would never work due to the large number of different organizations being involved. Then there was the unprecedented announcement of a 10 year partnership with ESPN STAR Sports. Following that, announcements of big name global sponsors like Sony and Carl’s Jr. were made. All these were milestones not just for the ONE FC Network but for Asian MMA on a whole. ONE FC has done more for Asian MMA in the past 1 year than any other promotion has since the death of PRIDE FC. The ONE Asia Summit will be no different. It’s another milestone that will push the growth of Asian MMA and cement ONE FC as the biggest MMA promotion in Asia today.