MMA in Asia- it happens. I know that the blogosphere stateside enjoys a good ole fashioned Chicken Little stance on things, however, as much as the media fights it- Mixed Martial Arts in Asia is far from dead. In fact, Asian MMA is in a ridiculous moment of Weeee!
Two huge press conferences went down in the East on Monday, and if the news hasn’t drifted Westerly to you we are here to break it down! Enter Gal’s Guide to MMA’s second male chromosone - Mountaineers101. Prepare yourself for a Stag Party as we bring you the digs and what it means for this wonderful sport we love so much!
Midge: So we have some big news coming out of the East this week, my friend. Where do we even begin?
Mountaineer: Well, we could always talk about ONE FC becoming the equivalent to sliced bread in Asia when it comes to MMA. What we have here is an alliance of epic proportions from camps and promotions joining forces to make ONE FC one of, if not THE elite promotion in Asian MMA.
Midge: Too true. As Monday’s edition of Japan’s post-Pride MMA lovechild, DREAM, we have a total of 38 organizations within the network! We have the big boys of each country. DREAM from Japan. URCC from the Philippines. CRC from Australia. Road FC from Korea. All of these promotions are working together to create champions to send to the big show. All roads lead to ONE FC.
Mountaineer: Not to mention some spectacular regional promotions and monster camps. You have camps such as Lakay Wushu out of the Philippines, sporting some absolutely scary prospects in Eduard Folayang and Kevin Belingon. Then, you have the famous Tiger Muay Thai and MMA school of Thailand. You can catch any fighter coming in and out of there to sharpen their knees and elbows, like Phil Baroni and Roger Huerta. And finally, the emerging juggernaut of Evolve MMA in Singapore. Muay Thai champs like Yoddecha Sityodtong and grappling gods like Shinya Aoki and Rafael dos Anjos? This looks to be the beginning of something spectacular.
Midge: The only thing that could make the ONE Asia Network Partnership any more epic would be Pride rules. Oh wait, ONE FC rolls with soccer kicks and head stomps! I said it in 2002 and I’ll say it in 2012. Pride Never Dies! With a reach of over one billion households across Asia (with more broadcast deals to come), the essence of what Asian MMA is alive and well.
Mountaineer: Not to mention the chance of revitalizing a dying (or perhaps it was on life support) promotion in DREAM. The exposure to all of the stars in Asia under this umbrella could provide the perfect CPR that DREAM and Japanese MMA needs. You can take your PUJI money and we’ll take our Shinya Aokis and Eduard Folayangs, thank you very much.
Midge: Very true. This partnership is like an adrenaline needle to the heart of a junkie. It is a perfect immediate influx of resources that DREAM was looking for. Plus, the Network has created a feeder system for fighters which Asia has never had. Each promotion in the network will be bringing fighters along within their organization in order to crown a champion, who will inevitably move up to ONE FC to face a champion of another organization! I love the "Champion vs. Champion" marketing, but I love what this does for the fighters as well. In America we have amateur events, then regional events,
and then the big show. It gives fighters a chance to develop before being thrown into the shark tank of the UFC. Asian fighters have never really had that opportunity to gradually raise their level of competition. This partnership creates an atmosphere where fighters coming out of Asia in the next ten years will have every opportunity their Western counterparts already have. And just in time, as Zuffa begins their assault on the East.
*The Party Continues at your sister's house. So click on over*